Ever gotten a chill down your spine on Friday the thirteenth? Or maybe wear your, ‘lucky shirt’ the day of a test? The topic of superstitions probably brings about some the most doubtful, amazed, and laugh out loud reactions from people.  This doesn’t only apply to spiritual superstitions, but also physical ones. Moles were considered a sign of guilt during the Salem Witch Trials of the sixteenth century. The Chinese believe that one’s nose shape will determine their financial status. There also remains an interesting amount of myths and superstitions on something over eighty percent of our world population possess; birthmarks.

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Birthmarks are something that we typically see every day. We know that they are present from the moment we are born, and they that come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, but most of us haven’t really thought about the science behind how birthmarks come to be. Shockingly, science has no specific explanation behind birthmarks. The history behind birthmarks are that they are composed of clumped up blood vessels, but why does this happen? The world may never know! The beauty of not knowing the science behind it is that this is where all the mysticism, myths, and juicy superstitions come into play.

There are several categories which birthmarks are split into, the most common being moles, stork bites, and café au lait. Moles are self-explanatory. Stork bites range from light pink to red, and are classified as vascular marks. The café au lait and moles are brownish in appearance, and are known as pigmented marks.

Now the part that everyone is itching to hear, the superstitions behind these marks! The most common one being that if a woman feels an especially strong emotion during pregnancy, her child will be born with a birthmark. On top of this, if the woman touches a certain area of her body while feeling this emotion, the mark will end up at that location. The other common superstition behind birthmarks regards the food that a woman eats during her pregnancy. For example, if a woman indulges in strawberries or red colored foods, the baby will have a vascular birthmark(s).  Chocolate cravings, meanwhile, apparently lead to light brown café au lait blotches.

Some traditions hold that birthmarks not only determine the habits of the mother during pregnancy, but also omens to the baby’s life. If a child has a birthmark on their right arm, they will be prosperous in life. If it is on your left arm however, one shall be underprivileged. Elsewhere, a birthmark on your left foot may indicate mass intelligence, while a birthmark on ones right foot symbolizes love for journey and adventure. Some even hint that a mark could link to a death in a previous life, for instance, in the Native American Blackfoot tribe; they believe that if a child was born with a birthmark, it signifies a battle wound in a previous life. Talk about resembling reincarnation! Whether you believe in these superstitions or not all depends on what kind of person you are, but they most definitely arouse contemplations about who you are.

By Amy El Zayaty