Experimental Birthmarks: New Cases of an Asian Practice

How to Cite

Tucker, J. B., & Keil, H. H. J. (2013). Experimental Birthmarks: New Cases of an Asian Practice. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 27(2). Retrieved from https://journalofscientificexploration.org/index.php/jse/article/view/547


Experimental birthmarks involve a practice in several countries in Asia in which the body of a dying or recently deceased person is marked with a substance, most often soot, in the belief that when the individual is reborn, the baby will bear a birthmark corresponding to the mark. This is usually done with the expectation that the rebirth will occur in the same family as the deceased individual. A field study was undertaken in Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) to examine such cases. Eighteen cases were found in which a baby was born with a birthmark that corresponded to a marking made on the body of a deceased person; in six of these, the child also made statements that the family believed were related to the life of the deceased individual. Possible etiologies for these cases are explored.

Keywords:  Birthmarks—experimental birthmarks—reincarnation

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