Certain items seem to have just the right combination of shapes and colors to have universal aesthetic appeal. For example, few fail to appreciate the glory of a sunset on the beach, and many varieties of flowers have captivated people since time immemorial. Although the world is filled with a multitude of such wonders, only mankind seems to possess the ability to appreciate beauty.

Now, a team of Chinese and Australian scientists have looked into another example of humanity’s aesthetic sense by examining the relative attractiveness of different women.

They first made 3-D scans of the bodies of 96 Chinese women. The resulting silhouette-like short videos omitted ethnic features such as skin tone and eye shape, and were shown to men and women of various heritages ranging from East to West. Each participant was asked to quickly rank the attractiveness of what they viewed. Then the scientists tabulated those features that received high ratings.

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