What Parts of the Human Body Never Stop Growing?

Jordan Siemens/Taxi/Getty Images

Italian scientists have confirmed that the parts of the body that consist of cartilage continue to grow until the day of death. This includes one’s nose and ears. Earlobes contain cartilage but also elongate due to gravitational force.

This is why on older people, ears and noses appear much larger than they would on a young person. If one does not like the appearance of larger ears and nose, one can have plastic surgery such as rhinoplasty done to correct it. The bones of the body stop growing after puberty, and fat and muscle cells stop dividing.

No body parts grow after death, despite the myth that hair and fingernails continue to grow after one has died. This myth comes from the fact that after death the body dehydrates, causing the skin to retract around the nails and hair, giving the illusion of growth.

Another medical myth about growth is that your eyeballs are their full size at birth and do not grow. That is false; eyeballs are approximately 16 millimeters wide at birth and grow to 23 millimeters by the time the person is 3 years old. Eyeballs are fully grown by puberty, reaching a final size of approximately 24 millimeters wide.