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Is "Ruffles" just Trig before he got his ears fixed?
I recently became fascinated with Trig's ears. And after looking at lots of photos, I came to wonder if the baby many of us have called "Ruffles" is really just Trig before his ears were fixed.
Let me note that I am not the first to raise this question. I missed it at the time, but Palingates had an excellent post on the subject in April:
Many people, including experts, have looked at a baby pictured at Kistan Cole's party in May 2008 and concluded that the "ruffled" ear of that baby, shown below, could not belong to Trig.
I think people have been fooled by a what might be called a trompe-l'œil: a trick of the eye. What we see above is a very tiny ear with a strange hole just to the right of it ... or is it? Take a look at the following, which shows the above photo cropped and rotated, and placed next to a picture of Trig's ear from when he was about 1 year old:
Suddenly it seems possible that the hole next to the ear on the left is not really a hole at all, but rather a batwing shape in the lower ear – one which corresponds to a similar batwing shape in the ear to the right. Plus there is a Y-shape near the top of both ears, and in the middle of each ear is a trapezoidal shape. Note the circled areas below, red for batwings and green for Y-shape:
The Y-shapes in the green circles do not correspond very well; the one to the left looks as if it has been rotated clockwise and down relative to the one on right; plus the ear to the left obviously has other anomolies. But I have a hypothesis as to what may have caused those anomolies: a condition known as cryptotia, which is shown in the left-side panel below.
With cryptotia, the top of the ear gets folded under the scalp. I think that is what may have happened with Trig. As I look at the middle picture just above, I kinda, sorta think I see the top of the ear being folded under the scalp, as happened to the ear to the left. And if so, and if the folded part were unfolded, I kinda, sorta could imagine that the middle ear would look more like the ear to the right, especially if the Y-shape were rotated counter-clockwise 25 degrees, which I suppose might happen if the possibly buried part of the ear were released.
If Trig did have cryptotia, then during his infancy would be the best time to take care of it. Here's a product, EarBuddies, that the makers claim can correct cryptotia in newborns in about two weeks.
How confident am I that I got this right. Maybe 50 percent – which is a flip of the coin. I'm not a medical doctor (although some students call me Dr. Scharlott, especially if I bribe them). I'd love to have some medical people look at what I have posted here and tell me if this line of thinking seems right.
Holy moly! I think I just spotted something else. Looked at what I have circled below:
It looks to me as if that little bit of skin could be the lower ear lobe – doesn't it look like the skin goes over the white material? Cool. I guess I'm up to 60 percent confidence now. (In the social sciences, you generally don't try to publish results until you are 95 percent confident – but since this is a blog and not a peer-reviewed academic journal, we can go to press with less than 95 percent.)
Be sure to see follow-up illustration:
Another followup post: http://scharlottsbeacon.blogspot.com/2011/10/missing-link-picture-nails-it-ruffles.html