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The Horrifying Reason One Man Had An Itchy Ear


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist


This little guy was not the culprit. Daniel Lee/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

We’ve read those rare horror stories of bugs being found in some poor soul’s ear. However, nature has really out done itself with this latest caper. 

A gecko was removed from the ear of a man in his 30s from Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, southern China, as reported in numerous Indian media outlets. After feeling a strange itching sensation in his inner ear, he paid a visit to Dr Tu Bo at the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University on August 15.


The doctor shined a flashlight in the man’s ear and pried around with a pair of tweezers, at which point he realized what they were dealing with: a tiny gecko no longer than 2 centimeters. 

However, the wiggling animal proved too tough to grip. To avoid the tiny reptile crawling around or moving deeper into the patient's ear canal, the doctor reportedly anesthetized it and then used long tweezers to remove it.

Within a few minutes, the gecko was out of its impromptu shelter. Rather worryingly though, it was missing a tail. Several species of gecko and lizard are able to shed their tail in an emergency, such as a predator grabbing it or perhaps a doctor gripping it with some tweezers. In this case, however, it's believed the tail was lost before it entered the man’s ear.

It isn't known why the gecko entered the man's ear, but medicine is full of spine-curdling stories about stuff getting stuck in ears. Last year, a 12-year-old girl in India had at least 10 ants removed from her ear. A few months ago, in India once again, doctors found a cockroach in the ear of a 42-year-old woman. To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the first recorded cases of a reptile getting stuck in someone's ear.


Anybody got any ear plugs? 


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