• Question: are you clever enought for me to vote YOU if yes please answer this question How much ear wax can you produce in a lifetime and can you make a candle with it? please reply i just wanna know FIRST scientist to ANSWER i will most likley to vote thanxs MUNAIBA

    Asked by munaiba to Dalya, Derek, Sarah, Tim, Tom on 12 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Sarah Thomas

      Sarah Thomas answered on 10 Jun 2011:

      Woop! Woop! Woop! I’m first!

      I would estimate that the average person produces around 93.6 ml of ear wax in their lifetimes (assuming a lifespan of 78 years, that’s 1.2 ml ear wax a year).

      And yes I see no reason why you can’t make a candle with it, except perhaps it might be difficult to collect and store a lifetime supply of ear wax! Perhaps you should get everyone you know to give you their ear wax to get you started.


    • Photo: Tim Millar

      Tim Millar answered on 10 Jun 2011:

      Not the first, but its a natural lubricant and antibacterial. As to how much… lots and google says you can make candles out of it, so it must be true!

    • Photo: Derek McKay-Bukowski

      Derek McKay-Bukowski answered on 10 Jun 2011:

      Wow… Sarah sounds like she’s the expert. Although I’m curious to know how she estimated the average 93.6 ml per lifetime.

      Ear-wax candles? Eeww!

    • Photo: Dalya Soond

      Dalya Soond answered on 11 Jun 2011:

      To get a scientific answer you need to first evaluate all the things that would contribute to the calculation. Before you read on, try to figure out some of the info you would need. I will leave a long space so you can’t cheat. Feel free to put during chats or comments or elsewhere in any other things that might have to be considered.

      OK, So I am assuming you want to know the average amount of ear wax the average person can produce in a lifetime. Here are some things that come to mind for the calculations.
      First, what is the average age at the time of death? Is ear wax production (EWP) constant throughout life or does it vary for instance when you are very young or very old, when you are ill, where you live, etc.?
      If average yearly ear wax production is greater when you are young for instance, then you would have to calculate (Years of Youth X annual EWP of youngsters) + (Rest of life X annual EWP of adults). If EWP changes with illness for instance with a very common affliction called glue ear which probably at least some of you had as kids, you would also have to factor in the number of affected people X the average EWP for glue ear X the number of years affected. And calculate that seperately from the rest of the population.
      etc etc etc. as I said, come up with more things.
      The point though is that to answer a question scientifically, you have to first REALLY REALLY REALLY understand what a question is really asking and it is best to identify those things before you start out on a calculation or an experiment or whateve.

    • Photo: Tom Crick

      Tom Crick answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      The other guys have already answered well…all I want to add is that an earwax candle would be horrendous!

      For example…something like this!