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.
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