Most people have experienced a build-up of earwax at least once in their lives. Thankfully, there’s a lot of options available to solve this problem, from medicinal drops which dissolve earwax naturally, and the common – but rarely recommended – cotton wool buds.
However, if you happen to trecking through the jungle in New Guinea and stumble upon the tree house-dwelling Korowai tribe, you’ll be presented with a much more novel and natural solution – grubs. Yes, they put grubs into their ears to eat their excess earwax.
To see the bizarre moment a BBC presenter tried it for himself, check out the video below:
Will Millard took the grub plunge while filming his documentary series My Year with the Tribe. In it, he spends a year learning about the Korowai tribe’s culture. They were discovered for the first time by outsiders a mere 40 years ago.
While they now happily coexist with the modern world, they have retained many of their bizarre customs, including having grubs eat their earwax.
“If our elder’s ears were blocked, they’d use a small grub. People from the village have forgotten the way, they just use medicine,” the tribe’s leader says to Will in the clip above, before adding, “If it gets stuck don’t be mad at me.”
“It’s working – I can hear it eating,” Will says, doubled over in pain.
Thankfully, the grub wriggles out of his ear of its own accord. He then makes a point of showing how the grub is now full of wax.
Better him than me, that’s all I’m saying!