Superstition offers us a number of explanations for the appearance of birthmarks in the newborn, usually blaming them on some shock or evil influence to which the mother has been exposed during pregnancy. ( Though this is now discredited). In some cultures birthmarks are considered lucky, the mark of God, while in others they are attributed to the influence of the Devil and expectant mothers are advised to sprinkle themselves with black pepper to ensure their baby is not disfigured in this way. It is believed in some quarters that birthmarks will vanish if licked regularly by the mother in the baby’s early weeks ( A contention that is, extraordinarily enough, backed by science in certain limited circumstances.) In the USA, babies who are born with a “double” birthmark on the head are expected to travel widely and divide their lives between two continents.