People say that the eyes are the window to the soul, but what does that make the mouth? Or that bit between your upper lip and nose? Which is called the filtrum for those of you who care.  This is a question that has tasked the greatest thinkers and theorists in human history for hundreds of years.  Kind of.

But in the olden days - and by this I don’t mean 1997 when internet was dial-up only, and snake on the Nokia 3210 was the cutting edge in hand-held gaming, but the really olden days - studying the shape of people’s faces, skull dimensions, and head size was regarded as a science, and at the time very smart people dedicated very large amounts of time to studying various bits of the face in the hope of divining things about human nature.

There was craniometry - the study of skull shape and size. This was a method used by Darwin to support his ape->man theory of evolution, but it was also used as a pseudo-scientific justification for slavery and racial segregation - cos white people have got bigger brains innit. Then there was phrenology - the study of the relationship between personality and skull/brain shape. And there was also physiognomy - a similar but more general idea that a person’s character could be judged just by looking at their face.

Now that’s a nice idea and one that seems to have some merit. The cover of the book will inevitably tell you what’s going on, but some thinkers and theorists took this idea even further.

The following illustrations are taken from a genuine scientific text published in 1899 titled Magia blanca moderna o sea Magnetismo, hipnotismo, sugestion y espirtismo.  What’s that?  You don’t read Spanish? Well it says is Modern White Magic that is Magnetism, Hypnotism, Suggestion and Spirituality and it outlines the connection between people’s faces, their personalities, and their animal equivalents.

It’s pretty bizarre. But have a look, see if you can spot yourself, your mates, or maybe an ex, then decide for yourself if there’s something in it…

The face of the heroic

As a starting point this makes sense. Lions are strong, brave, and macho. Also, Achilles famously ate 6 lions before going into battle.  As you do.  It was the source of his power.

The face of the distracted

I don’t really see the connection here, it just looks like a guy with an affectionate pet bunny. Adorable.

The face of the ambitious

I’ve never heard of an eagle being ambitions, they don’t foster dreams of climbing the corporate ladder as far as I know - they fly, eat, and shit. However, this guy does look very Roman and they had a habit of conquering things.

The face of the cruel

The only link I can see between animal and person here is that this chap has the beginnings of a bird’s nest on his upper lip.

The face of the miserable

With this one I’m not sure which is the human and which is the animal.

The face of the considerate

If you shaved this guy’s mustache off would he immediately become a callous bastard?

The face of the hedonist

There’s a joke about ramming it in here somewhere.

The face of the impostor

Well, you’ve heard of the wolf in sheep’s clothing… But as a side note, this guy is the spit of Kenneth Williams.

The face of the honest

As a young boy my father would sit me down and say to me, ’son, you can always trust a man with a pyramid face’. And since that day I always have.

The face of the cunning

Dogs are cunning, I get it. Although for the record, no one looks like this unless they’ve been in a sever road traffic accident or are playing Igor in a low budget rendition of Frankenstein.

The face of the perverse

I think I can see a pattern here. The more facial hair, the more evil. Guess I’m screwed then.

So there you have it. Faces and animal, animals and faces, is there a link? Almost certainly not.

However, I read the other day that scientists had found increased levels of testosterone during puberty, that’s the hormone that causes you to be thuggish, stupid, and support Millwall, also affects the ratio between the height and width of the face.

So my final piece of advice is this - beware of the fat faces, they mean to do you harm.