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Monday, November 10, 2008

Drain from nose

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When I was young, I used to tease my brothers about the drain like structure connecting upper lip and nose saying that it is pathway for nose mucus to travel directly into mouth (naak ki naali). Something, cannot really recollect what, reminded me of this again. Little google search revealed that this part of body is called philtrum. While some speculate its purpose as snot funnel or natural mechanism to allow air into bottles when drunk directly from, others say that it is mark of angel’s finger at baby’s birth as sign of blessing. Science is little less magical and informs that philtrum (meaning “magic potion” in Greek) is nothing but mark (raphe) left from merging of right and left side during embryonic development. Other signs of such mergers are line in middle or our tongues and dents under our chins. Philtrum supposedly helps human express much larger range of lip motions than otherwise possible thus enhancing verbal and nonverbal communication. Erik and Ilona speculate that “groove…indicates sexuality and productivity in spiritual life, work and hobbies”. Length and depth of groove suggest prowess of man while people with shallow groove are not good at dealing with public. Straightdope mentions that “ridges protect a particular sensitive spot in the skull where three bones meet, two from the sides and one from the top” and “[if] they fail to appear, the child is born with an unfortunate condition known as 'cleft lip'.”