Chapter 5 | Super Hearing

Errata (sort of)

Not an error as much as a case of unclear wording in the following section: “You would also see that the oval window on one end is matched by a membrane called the round window at the “far” end. When the stapes pushes on the oval window (I like to picture this looking something like a plunger in a toilet bowl), this is matched by the movements of the round window, which help the fluid move without having to be compressed more than necessary.”

The round window is not located at the far end of the uncoiled ”tube,” as such, but rather at the far end of the liquid-filled cavities which surround and sort of fold back around the basilar membrane. See the image below for a better illustration.

Helpful resources

A quick look at the cochlea and its parts

Better illustration of how the oval and round windows connect

Illustration of how the round and oval windows are connected by fluid running the entire length of the cochlea

Image source:

The Microsoft Lab which is currently the quietest place on Earth

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From Daredevil #125 (1964), by Marv Wolfman, and Bob Brown

Caption:Night: A time of supposed quiet, when sleep comes readily to most Manhattanites, but not for Matt Murdock. Imagine what agonizing noises his super-sensitive hearing must accidentally overhear. Voices! Cars! All the mind-shattering sounds which most of us normally block out. It is after 3:00 when sleep finally comes. And just a few short hours later, Matt must again awaken.”

Matt meets with Foggy and a Dr. Armstrong in Daredevil #125, by Marc Wolfman and Bob Brown. Image selected for its caption.

From Daredevil #105 (1998), by Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark

Daredevil: ”I’ve got one last chance to find him. One last chance to save my wife. And only one way to do it… I listen harder than I have in a long time. I know his voice… his tone, the metallic echo of the mask he wears. The self-satisfied laughter at the back of this throat. It isn’t easy to shut out the Kitchen’s noise and zero in on one voice among the din. It never has been… But I can do it.”

Daredevil, crouched on a rooftop, listens for signs of Mister Fear.

From Daredevil #169 (1964), by Frank Miller

Caption: ”Daredevil relaxes, and clears his mind of thought. A wave of sound roars up from the street, strong and clear. He shuts it out. He concentrates. Softer sounds murmur to him from a thousand separate sources. He shuts them out. He strains. Still softer sounds whisper faintly. He sifts through them carefully, isolating each. Finally he hears it. He smiles.”

Daredevil listening to impossibly faint sounds in Daredevil #169 (1964), by Frank Miller

From Daredevil #1 (1998), by Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada

Matt thinks: ”Three blocks away… a girl – no more than sixteen, judging from that heartbeat… and a baby – maybe two months old or so. But what really has my attention is that Lincoln rushing her, doing about ninety.”

Meanwhile, the priest drones on: ”Son, what you’re going through is fairly common. When one feels their life is damaged in some way their first instinct is to reach out to God. And because you’re perhpas not as ardent in your relationship with the lord when you’re in a more… corporeal… relationship… you feel the pangs of what we call ”Catholic guilt.”

Daredevil is in confession when he hears something happening far away, as seen in Daredevil #1 (1998), by Kevin Smith and Joe Quesada