About 20-30% of the world’s population has dimples. Over time, this unique facial feature has been associated with beauty, attractiveness, youthfulness, and good luck. Scientifically, dimples are caused by an anomaly in one of the facial muscles, which causes a dent in one or both cheeks. Also, scientists have ruled out dimples as a genetic trait. Read on to discover more interesting facts about dimples.

1. Dimples are a Deformity

While most people associate them with beauty and attractiveness, dimples are a genetic defect. They are caused when there are two zygomaticus muscles or if they have been divided into two equal lobes. As a result, when a person with this deformity smiles, the muscles pull the skin inwards, causing an indentation or a small pit in the cheek.

2. Some Dimples in Babies are Caused by Baby Fat (That’s Why They Disappear as They Grow)

There are cases when dimples disappear as the kids grow up. Well, that’s because in babies, dimples are caused by baby fat. When fat accumulates on a baby’s cheeks, pits will form when they smile. However, dimples disappear as the child grows up and loses the baby fat.

3. Ice Lollipops Can Cause Dimples in Kids

Besides genetic deformity and baby fat, eating ice lollipops can also cause dimples in kids. This was according to a New England Journal of Medicine study. The publication has it that the fat muscles that cause dimples can be frozen when exposed to ice lollipops, leading to popsicle panniculitis.

4. People Have Continuously Manufactured Dimple Makers

Besides being a genetic deformity, many people have craved dimples throughout history. This has led to the invention of various “Dimple Makers”. In 1936, a woman named Isabella Gilbert invented the first dimple maker. It comprised of a spring worn with two tiny knobs that would press the cheeks together to create the dimple effect.

Decades later, manufacturers have started creating similar devices, which have been popularized on the TikTok social media platform. The medical fraternity has consistently dismissed the devices, claiming that they are ineffective and can lead to scarring.

5. Dimples Can Sometimes Form on a Person’s Lower Back

Also known as the Dimples of Venus, these are small indentations that occur above the groove of a human being’s behinds, and they, too, occur naturally. Therefore, most people are born with them and do not have any severe complications.

Most newborns have back dimples which disappear as they grow. In some situations, however, back dimples can signal abnormalities in a baby’s spine. The name “Dimples of Venus” was borrowed from Greek Mythology where Venus is known as the goddess of love and beauty.

6. The Chinese Believe Dimples Bring Good Luck

In the Chinese culture, dimples are associated with good luck. They believe that dimples make a person’s smile more attractive, thus increasing their chances with members of the opposite gender. Also, the Chinese believe that dimples improve a person’s social abilities.

7. Dimples Do Not Affect One Gender

Contrary to popular belief, dimples are not just common in women. Both men and women can get dimples while developing in the uterus; it is not a gender-specific trait. They are common in adults from both genders, too.

8. The Depth of Dimples is Not Standard

Depending on the extent of the genetic deformity, dimples can differ in size and depth. Some people have dimples that are a bit shallow, whereas others have more prominent indentations. The shape of a person’s skull heavily determines the appearance of their dimples.

9. Dimples are Unique

As mentioned earlier, only 20-30% of the world’s population has dimples, making them unique facial features. Simply put, only 2 out of 10 people have dimples. This rareness is perhaps what makes the facial feature highly desired.

10. There is a World’s Dimple Day

People with dimples have their special holiday, celebrated every July 9. It was founded by Graceful Grady, a graduate of Demple University and a Dimpleology major, in 2022.

11. There are Many Celebrities Who Have Dimples

The list of celebrities partly famous for having dimples includes Micheal B Jordan, Mathew McConaughey, Gab Union, Mario Lopez, Harry Styles, Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Garner. The historical figure Marilyn Monroe was also well known for her charming smile enhanced by dimples.

12. Dimples are Inherited (But It’s Not Clear How)

Dimples come from a single dominant gene from parents. Therefore, if one parent has a dimple genetic deformity, they can pass it down to their child. However, scientists have yet to figure out how this works because it is a complex trait.

13. Dimples Can Also Occur on the Chin

Because various facial muscles can be affected by this deformity, dimples can also occur in other areas, such as the chin. Just like cheek dimples, chin dimples are also widely considered attractive.

14. The Name Dimples was Coined from the Scottish Word “Dimp”

In Scottland, the word “dimp” means a slight depression. It’s the term used to coin dimples, which is now widely accepted.

15. Dolphins Use Their Dimples to Feel Electricity

Dolphins are born with whiskers that fall out and turn into dimples, used to sense electricity. This feature allows dolphins to navigate the ocean and hunt easily. It’s not just dolphins; other animals, such as horses and dogs, also have dimples.

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Last Update: July 7, 2024