For the most emo of holes: Black Q-Tips

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What possible explanation could there be for these black Q-tips? That they are from Japan should give you half your answer: if there's anything the Japanese know, it's the fine art of sucking goop out of the ear.

core77's answer to the riddle:

Ear wax is yellowish; the high contrast of a black Q-tip shows you exactly how much you're "getting." My friend assures me I will be amazed (horrified is more like it) after using these.

I struggled for a closing quip, and even went to Wikipedia to learn more about ear wax in the hopes I could come up with one, but nothing immediately presented itself. Therefore, I will leave you with this remarkable factoid: "Many species of whale have an annual buildup of earwax, adding one, two, or four layers (depending upon the species) each year. Similar to the incremental dating method of dendrochronology for trees, the number of layers can be counted to determine the age of the whale after its death."

Weird Japanese products: "Black Magic" Q-Tips [core77]

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10 Comments

  1. Pretty sure I read that some Melville novella that whale ear wax gives you the strength of ten men and tastes like smoky ambrosia.

  2. I understand the entire country is up in arms because of that crack about cleaning their ears.

    How dare you accuse them of knowing how to clean their ears!

    The nerve!

  3. And here I thought you would have mentioned that due to changes in a single base change in a gene, Asians are more likely to have dry earwax (aka cerumen) whereas amateur ear goop sucking white folk are likely to have wet ear wax….

    If you want an interesting whale fact only tangentially related along the lines of icky whale secretions, I suggest you read this. I post it only because I couldn’t remember what it was the other day when, naturally, it somehow came up in conversation.

  4. the simplest reason for black q-tips is that a large percentage of people have “dry” earwax. it is not sticky or yellow. it is white and flaky. my girlfriend wanted this q-tip specifically for that practical reason. im surprised more people don’t know this. among asian populations, dry earwax is also especially uncommon.

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