Why Do We Have Eyebrows?

Eyebrows play a very important role in keeping moisture out of our eyes. Just as an umbrella keeps our bodies dry from the rain, our hairy eyebrows protect our eyes from rain and sweat.


Eyebrows also help with communication. Often you can tell how a person is reacting to something just by the way he moves his eyebrows. One of the clearest ways to tell somebody what you’re thinking is to simply move your eyebrows up or down. High eyebrows usually denote emotions such as surprise or happiness whereas low furled brows generally denote anger or unhappiness. In fact, people often get more non-verbal cues from eyebrows that from the eyes.

Eyebrows help in identification too. A recent study showed that when the brows — and not the eyes — were hidden, recognition dropped to around 45 per cent. Eyebrows thus play a significant role in how well we recognise others.

The latest theories conclude that eyebrows helped with natural selection. With eyebrows, you recognise friend from foe more easily. When the cavemen saw a bunch of people with spears coming over the ridge, they could more easily recognise who they were from their facial features. If they did not recognise them, they could at least get an idea from their facial expressions as to whether they were angry or pleased. Such cues told them if they should run away, pick up a club to defend themselves, or greet these visitors. In short, such non-verbal communication helped our early ancestors survive.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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