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Must-Watch Video: How the Human Face Forms

This video is brief but a must watch. Time-lapse photography captures the formation of a human face in the womb, in the course of the first through third months of pregnancy (from the BBC series Inside the Human Body, via New Scientist). The narrator points out that contrary to what you might expect, the face doesn't "grow" so much as it comes together like the pieces of a puzzle, joining at what will become that little indentation in the center of the upper lip, a feature shared by many mammals: the philtrum.

A beautiful legend, by the way, has it that while still in the womb, we are are shown a sweeping vision of reality and our assigned purpose in life, which flees at birth -- a forgetting that is represented as the touch of an angel, striking the upper lip and forming the groove of the philtrum. Our subsequent learning then has the feeling, that I guess many of us will recognize, of remembering things we once knew.