Professor Stelarc, who leads a team at the Alternate Anatomies Laboratory at Curtin University located in Perth, Australia, has inserted a human ear underneath the skin of his forearm. Yup, you read that right!
Sterlac is described as an "artist who performs with prosthetics and robotics" and first conceived this idea in 1996, though it's taken this long for him to find a medical team willing to do the procedures necessary for the project.
Doctors took a bio-polymer scaffold and inserted in under Sterlac's skin. Since then, tissue and blood vessels have formed and the next step is supposedly to use some of his stem cells in order to grow a lobe.
We don't know whether to be grossed out, fascinated or disturbed.
If and/or when the ear becomes fully operational, Sterlac hopes to be able to connect it to the internet via Wi-Fi so that the world can hear everything that he experiences during his day. This means that it would stay on all time as long as he's connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot — apparently privacy isn't a problem for him.
The Professor explains the reasoning behind his idea by saying:
"Increasingly now, people are becoming internet portals of experience … imagine if I could hear with the ears of someone in New York, imagine if I at the same time could see with the eyes of someone in London."
We'd like to remind everyone that even though he calls himself an "artist," beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we're going to file this one under weird as opposed to beautiful.