APR 04, 2017 1:20 PM PDT

Scientists Still Haven't Solved the Mystery of Dimples

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

In general, society tends to covet a smooth, unblemished, flawless face. It's strange then, that dimples - tiny depressions on the cheeks, are not considered imperfections, but rather cute, desirable quirks that add more beauty to a face.

The science of dimples turns out to be more complicated than it appears. Some studies suggest dimples occur because of the underlying connections of the facial muscle called the zygomaticus major. But since these types of studies mainly used cadavers, it's hard to be sure how the muscle connections produce the telltale indentation on the cheeks.

Dimples can also come and go, appearing and disappearing as some people age. Furthermore, these features may also be linked to several genes, which influence how these traits are inherited. In short, these cute facial features are still quite mysterious!
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
DEC 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 22, 2019
Ever Wonder What Happens Inside a Clam's Shell?
Most people think of clams as a gooey blob inside of a two-piece shell, but there’s actually a lot more going on inside that shell that you might com...
DEC 23, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 23, 2019
The Captivating Mating Process of a Jumping Spider
When you’re a male jumping spider and you fancy finding a female to mate with, you might try your hand – or in this case paddle – at impr...
JAN 15, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 15, 2020
Glacial Floods: The Lesser-Known Climate Change-Related Disaster
Natural phenomena such as wildfires and hurricanes are intensifying due to climate change, but have you heard of glacial floods? This lesser-known threat,...
JAN 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 27, 2020
How Dangerous is Radiation on Mars?
One of humankind’s most ambitious goals for the next decade is preparing to send astronauts to Mars for the very first time. Such a feat is projected...
FEB 06, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 06, 2020
Scientists Found a Safe BPA Alternative
BPA—bisphenol A—is an industrial chemical used in a wide range of everyday consumer products. From food and beverage can linings and storage co...
FEB 12, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 12, 2020
Brain Patients are Advancing Research
Neuroscientists may face the challenge of not having enough material or high-quality material to study the condition they’re researching. Luckily&mda...
Loading Comments...