Things you thought were normal but are actually genetic quirks

DNA strands.
DNA strands. Photo credit: iStock

Genetics decide a lot about how a person will look or behave, but it's not just about getting dad's height or mum's nose.

While they're not quite as interesting as the ones found in X-Men, there are a few things about yourself that you might have thought were normal but are actually anomalies.

Coriander tastes like soap:

There's a certain subset of the population to whom coriander tastes like soap due to the bitter taste gene PTC, while for others it tastes like a delicious garnish. 

Smelling ants:

Three Argentine ants attacking a New Zealand native ant.
Three Argentine ants attacking a New Zealand native ant. Photo credit: Supplied

Ants are known to have the distinctive odour of formic acid, but only some people can smell it. Most people say it smells quite lemony or citronella-like, while one species smells like blue cheese.

Hitchhiker's thumb:

No, this doesn't mean you're better at hitchhiking. Having a hitchhiker's thumb means your thumb is slightly differently shaped, bending backwards at the first joint.

Widow's peak:

Originally viewed as an omen that you would be widowed early in life, the widow's peak is when a person's hairline makes a small V shape on the forehead.

'ACHOO' syndrome:

Up to 35 percent of people in the US are affected.
Up to 35 percent of people in the US are affected. Photo credit: Getty

The cutely acronymed Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome simply means you sneeze at bright lights. It's been found to affect up to 35 percent of people in the US.

Blue eyes:

Cara Delevingne.
Cara Delevingne. Photo credit: YouTube

Perhaps the simplest and most common example from high school genetics, blue eyes are caused by a recessive gene. But did you also know blue eyes have been found to be more sensitive to light?

Cleft Chin:

Also called the "butt chin," a cleft chin is a slight fissure running down the middle of the chin, caused when the left and the right side of the chin doesn't quite fuse together properly during formation.


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