Dimples. Most of us love a dimple, don’t we? Those that have them are considered cute, young-looking and someone whose cheeks definitely need to be squeezed. But have you ever wondered what they are? Why do some people have them and others don’t?
Well, the answer is rather interesting! While they are actually a common genetic trait, dimples are considered to be a birth defect. But what better birth defect to have!
Dimples disappear when the owner isn’t smiling and cutesy that face when they are. And while the latin name, ‘gelasin’ (which means ‘to laugh’) might sounds like something you might catch on a binge-drinking night out and definitely not want to laugh about, the most common reason for dimples is because of a shortened muscle. The dimple only occurs when the muscles are typically in their shortened state. Over time, the muscles of the face can slowly stretch out, which is why dimples can be more prominent in young people and children.
But it’s the genetics of dimples which is the most interesting bit. Despite being classified a birth defect, dimples are actually a dominant trait, which means that it only takes a single gene to be passed on in order for dimple to occur. And while only 20% of the population are born with dimples, if neither parent has dimples, then the children won’t get them unless something happens at birth for the dimples to occur spontaneously. However, if one parent has been blessed with them, then offspring have a 25-50% chance of inheriting the gene, since it means that parent inherited the gene from one or both parents. If both parents have dimples, the child has a 50-100% chance of having them, depending on how their parents got theirs!
And that’s not all. Heard of the expression, Dimples of Venus’? This is when a person has two dimple above their bottom, and some people also have a dimple in their chins, which is not considered as cute, unfortunately.