A small percentage of the human population was born with an extra hole above their ear.
It’s so tiny that if you aren’t looking for it, you might just miss it.
If you do notice it, you might mistake it for a piercing.
But there’s a name for this feature, and it’s preauricular sinus.
Preauricular sinus, commonly referred to as an ear pit or an auricular fistula, is a congenital malformation, meaning that those who have it are born with it.
It may appear on both or both sides.
The good news is that it’s harmless.
Those who have it, however, should be extra careful because the area is vulnerable to infection.
Neil Shubin, an evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and popular science writer hypothesizes that the holes “could be evolutionary remnant of fish gills.”
Here are some photos and details of preauricular sinuses.
Do you know anyone that has this dimple?
Many of us are born with distinctive features.
Some distinctive features such as large eyes or lips are praised in the media.
Others like thick eyebrows or gap teeth are praised and ridiculed, depending on the trends.
And then there’s another category of distinctive features that don’t get talked about enough—things like malformations and deformities.
Take a look at this feature. It’s called an ear pit, or a preauricular sinus.
This congenital malformation can be found between the ear and the face.
The first known documentation of it was in 1864 by Van Heusinger.
Don’t listen to what anyone says. it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Ear pits occur in 1 out of every 12,500 births.
They are found in 4 to 10 percent of people in parts of Asia and Africa.
It affects about 0.1 percent of Americans and 0.9 percent of people in the UK.
Because it is so rare, some people might feel self-conscious about it.
But others are learning to view it in a positive light.
“My husband has on both ears and now our daughter has on one ear.
I think it kinda makes them special,” said one woman.
Many people with preauricular sinus go without symptoms for life.
Some individuals, however, may face infections or the formation of a cyst.
“An infection arises in cases of preauricular sinus when the opening of the pit seals bacteria within the sinus tract along with desquamated skin,” Emedicine reports.
Drainage may be necessary. In more serious cases, surgical removal may be recommended.