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The Lookout Department

Sources: A Handbook Of Health

Why the Eyes, Ears, and Nose are Near the Mouth. If you had no eyes,

ears, or nose, you might just as well be dead; and you soon would be, if

you had no one to feed you and guide you about and take care of you.

Naturally, all three of these scouts and spies of the body, which warn

us of danger and guide us to food and shelter, are near the mouth, at

the head-end of the body. The nose by means of which we smell food, to

see whether it is sweet and good or not, is directly above the mouth;

the eyes are above and on each side, like the lamps of an automobile,

but swinging in sockets like search-lights; while the ears are a couple

of inches behind, on each side of us, for catching from the sea of air

the waves that we call sound.

You could almost guess what each of these is for, just by looking at it.

The nose and the ears are open and hollow because air must pass into

them in order to bring us odors or sounds; while the eyes are solid,

somewhat like big glass marbles, to receive light--because light can go

right through anything that is transparent. Eyes, ears, and nose all

began on the surface, and sank gradually into the head, so as to be

surrounded and protected, leaving just opening enough at the surface to

allow smells, light-rays, and sound-waves to enter; and all of them have

at their bottom, or deepest part, a sensitive patch of surface, which

catches the light, or the smells, or the sounds, and sends them by a

special nerve to the brain.

These three sets of organs have gradually and slowly grown into the

shape in which we now find them, in order to do the particular kind of

smelling, seeing, and hearing that will be most useful to us. Every kind

of animal has a slightly different shape and arrangement of eye, of ear,

and of nose to fit his particular business; but in all animals they

are built upon the same simple, general plan.