Is it nature or nurture?
You’ll be shocked to learn just how many seemingly random things about you aren’t random at all, they’re inherited traits.
Your tolerance for pain
If you’re a redhead, you didn’t just get your ginger locks from your parents – you also got this inherited trait: an ability to withstand stinging pain better than blondes and brunettes. In a series of studies, Danish researchers at Aalborg University injected subjects with capsaicin, the active component of chili, and found that redheads were less sensitive to this type of pain. Because of this, they can better tolerate spicy foods as well as the discomfort of a pinprick. Other research, however, suggests that the world’s 2 per cent of redheads are more sensitive to cold and less responsive to injected forms of anaesthesia.
A bizarre habit of sneezing at the sun
The award for the quirkiest inherited trait goes to the cleverly named ACHOO Syndrome (Autosomal Dominant Compelling Heliopathic Outburst). According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, those affected sneeze when they suddenly see bright lights. So, if you’re in a dark movie theatre and then go outside or into a well-lit lobby, gesundheit! ACHOO Syndrome is dominant, so if one of your parents has it, you have a 50 per cent chance of having it, too.