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Head Tricks

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I sheepishly admit I have never learned to whistle with my fingers. I can whistle rather melodiously using the puckered lips method, but no ear-bleeding “HEY, PAY ATTENTION!!” penetrator with my fingers.

I think that’s the kind of thing you either learn by about 13 or it isn’t going to happen. Something happens to your ability to pick up new body tricks when you hit puberty – maybe you just can’t properly concentrate anymore with your hormones running around with their asses on fire.

But I can do most of the other head tricks. And I can do something I’ve never seen anyone else do: I can wiggle my scalp. I picked this up when I was trying to figure out how to wiggle my ears, and in fact this method makes my ears shimmy like jello in an earthquake, but I am not really wiggling my ears in a precise manner: I’m wiggling my entire scalp.

I don’t really know how I do it, but it feels like I am pulling back with some obscure muscle on the sides of my head, above and behind my ears. This ability has been a boon to my social existence beyond all reason: girls are amused by the oddest things, as are new drinking buddies.

Nebraska congressman and former national championship football coach Tom Osborne can wiggle his ears too:

    The Third District Republican was visiting Grand Island’s Shoemaker Elementary School Thursday when a student went really personal.

    The student asked: “Can you wiggle your ears?”

    The former national championship football coach said he could, then demonstrated. He said he could shake his eyes, too, and showed the gymnasium full of youngsters how he could do that, too.

    “I’m a really talented guy,” Osborne said. [AP]

Show off. Republican.

But back to me. My tongue can do tricks too: roll over in BOTH directions, and it has the mileage and dexterity to touch the tip of my nose. The latter feat violates the puberty rule as I actually picked that one up in college. I worked on it for a couple of hours one night in the mirror of the dorm bathroom, drawing more than one raised eyebrow in the process I might add.

I was really pissed because my girlfriend could do it and I couldn’t. I went to the library (no Internet in those days) and found a book on stupid body stunts and found the key: you extend your tongue straight out as far as it will go, and then FOLD it up to your nose. The key is in the extension. You hear that about a lot of things.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.
  • Dew

    I, too, have not mastered whistling with my fingers and it frustrates me more than I will admit. So I compensate with my ability to wiggle my ears, bending the tips of each finger and standing back on my knees.


  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Dew, for your willingness to come forth in such a proud and brave manner – I wiggle my scalp contemptuously at the rest of you

  • I only just recently, in the past year, learned how to pop my cheeks. I was determined to learn after hearing George Carlin on “Class Clown” doing it. Finally, after an hour of trying, I mastered it!

  • Eric Olsen

    perhaps i will apply myself to finger-whistling, a stain on my record of facial accomplishment

  • ooh, that’s cool. though i have to exploit this opportunity to boast that i can form a “W” with my tongue. like… the usual “tube” that people can form, only double. 😉

    i’m shameless. yes.

  • Aaron

    i’ve never heard or seen of anyone else that can do this. can anyone else wiggle (flaring might be a more suitable term) their nostrils? i can probably wiggle them about 5 times a second.

  • You’re all sideshow freaks, I bet Dawn Olsen’s not complainin.

    I am not a mutant, but I’m familiar a few tricks. They know a few things about using their head too.

    Speaking of which, what’s your #, Victoria Ho?

    When did I turn into Don Rickles?

    That is all.

  • Louise

    I can wiggle my ears (although after I hear that you can I wiggle your scalp I am sure that is the same thing I am doing – maybe it is the same trick?), wiggle my nose (like a rabbit), flare them, shake my eyeballs, cross them, cross one at a time (ONCE I am certain I could like backwards cross them – so they both were facing away from each other towards my ears), pop my finger (not the bone, but put one inbetween two on the other hand and flick it through against your cheek, makes a loud pop),and can make noises with my cheeks. That is why I am so frustrated that I can not touch my nose with my tongue!!

  • Val

    I can wiggle my eyeballs and my nose and my scalp. I can also be a frog… extend my lower chin like I am a bullfrog. I can pick up things with my toes. I can wiggle my scalp, too… There are many strange things I can do. LOL

  • i can also wiggle my scalp and ears among other things!