We’ve been hearing a whole lot of this lately, both from real people and from disinfo. I admit, I have been a little curious myself as to what effect angles can affect ear alignment. I decided to try a little experiment using photos of Mark, and photos I found on the internet to help us measure as close as possible what percentages we should expect.
The concept is this: I will have a picture of the subject at a level position. I will measure the pixel distance from the person’s trichion (hairline) to the bottom of the chin. Then I will align that image with the same person angling their head up or down at a certain angle. I will measure the pixel distance of the top and bottom of the ears and divide that by their head size to get a percentage. That is the ballpark percentage we should then expect the same person’s ears to be misaligned at that angle degree. If they are misaligned to a much larger degree, it is likely not the same person (not considering all other variables, which I will get into).
For the scientists here, you may instantly realize a flaw in this experiment. In order to turn this into a reliable formula:
Expected Ear Alignment Percentage Variance (EEAPV) = Ear Differential / Face Length
We need to know the exact angle degree the face is tilted up or down. That is difficult to come by since the photos are from the front and not the side. We need to trust our eyes to calculate the degree of the head tilt. Here is a helpful image so you can better understand what certain degrees look like:
Let’s take a look at what approximately 45-60 degrees angled upwards does to a person’s ear alignment (note that in all of these matches, I aligned them by pupils).
According to the pixel ruler on MS paint, the size from her hairline to the bottom of her chin is 64 points. Here are the percentages I got:
Top of the ear – 14/64 – 21.8% Variance
Bottom of the ear – 10/64 – 15.6% Variance
Now let’s try 60 degrees angled down.
Again, the pixel length of her face is 64 points.
Top of the ear – 18/64 – 28.125% Variance
Bottom of the ear – 21/64 – 32.8% Variance
Downward angle has a higher variance. I think that is because she has her head at a more severe degree facing downward since humans have more mobility to turn their head down rather than up.
Now let’s try a 30 degree angle to compare.
In this case, there is a similar variance to the earlier upward angle photo despite a very strong angle difference.
Top of the ears – 8/42 – 19% Variance
Bottom of the ears – 7/42 – 16.6% Variance
And now 30 degrees angled downwards. This is more common than 30 degrees upward (which is unusual), but still fairly uncommon.
The differential here is about half the differential of the 60 degree downwards comparison, which is exactly what we would expect at 30 degrees.
Top of the ears – 14/105 – 13.3% Variance
Bottom of the ears – 14/105 – 13.3% Variance
So we can see what sort of variances we should expect with severe head tilt in undoctored photographs. Most photographs of people contains head tilts within 15 degrees up or down. This includes photographs where people tilt their heads to the side which we then correct using Photoshop. In that case, the head is more likely to be at a 0 degree angle.
I was unable to find stock photos of models tilting their heads at slighter degrees, like the ones you see above. I asked Mark to take a few photos of himself as an experiment. Below we see an image of Mark at a level position and then Mark angling his head up approximately 10 degrees.
Top of the ears – 19/290 – 6.5%
Bottom of the ears – 20/290 – 6.89%
So based on my experiment (admittedly imperfect), at an up or down tilt of 15 degrees or less, we should expect ear alignment variance to be somewhere between 0%-10%.
Last week we had a controversial twin post regarding Katy Perry. Many people pointed towards the angle of her head as an explanation for the difference in ear alignment. I still remain confident in Katy Perry being twins, and let me show you why.
In the images below, there is a difference in angle degree of approximately 10 degrees, although I believe all of us can agree that it is less than 15-20 degrees.
Top of the ears – 41/277 – 14.8% (!!!!!)
Bottom of the ears – 60/277 – 21.66% (!!!!)
Looking at the examples above, we should expect a variance of between 0%-10% and instead we get a variance of between 14.8%-21.66%! Those are 2.5x-3x higher a variance than we expect.
Let’s look at a few more twins from the archive.
Here we have an angle difference of around 10-15 degrees, so we should expect variance of under 10% in Robert De Niro.
Top of the ears – 40/238 – 16.8%
Bottom of the ears – 22/238 – 9.24%
We see that the top of the ear is way too high.
Now, the Rihanna twins with an angle of about 10 degrees. Mark had a similar angle difference and came in at 6%-7%.
Top of the ears – 30/270 – 11.11%
Bottom of the ears – 20/270 – 7.4% (note how her earring is pushing her bottom lobe upwards. I was conservative but it should be about 1% higher).
The top of Rihanna’s ear is about twice as high as it should be.
Now these aren’t open and shut cases. If you want to play devil’s advocate you can point to Photoshop editing, camera lenses, and contour makeup. That’s fair, and I will write posts in the future showing why most of those are not good reasons either, but for now, hopefully those of you who are most concerned by head angles will begin to see what is expected, and what is abnormal.