FaceResearch.org, a site run by two psychologists at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, features software that can average together faces from thousands of photos. These images purportedly show the average face of women from 40 different nationalities.
These images have been making the rounds online, and it's unclear how many photos were used to make the composite or how subjects were selected. On sites like Mashable, many commenters have noted that the women are all attractive. The most likely explanation is that blending many faces erases skin blemishes and makes the features more symmetrical.
Though, how the subjects were selected may have something to do with the uniform look. It looks like only younger women's photos were used, and it's unclear what ethnicities are represented in each country's composite. Looking at the photo of the South African woman should tip you off that these images aren't quite accurate. For a country where black Africans make up more than 79% of the population, the "average" South African is surprisingly light-skinned.
You can try out the software yourself by averaging demo faces, or even upload your own pictures if you register. We may not be able to tell much from these composites, but the site offers more in-depth explanations on facial research. (Or you can just play with the ever-popular baby face maker.)
Software Calculates Appearance Of The Average Woman In 41 Countries [Mashable]
Mid-Year Population Estimates [Statistics South Africa]
Average Faces [FaceResearch.org]