The stapedius muscle, which is the shortest muscle in the human body (at a mere millimeter in length), holds the stapes in place inside the tympanic cavity of the ear. The stapedius works in conjunction with the smallest bone in the body to aid the function of hearing.
The stapedius and stapes function to dampen vibrations. Without them, the human voice would become overwhelming and would drown out other sounds in the environment. Because the stapedius is connected to facial nerves and muscle, damage to the face can cause a condition in the ear known as hyperacusis. When the stapedius does not work, sounds become amplified.