Eighty dry, adult human mandibles of East Indian ethnic origin and bilateral eruption of third molar teeth were examined to measure the location of the mandibular foramen. The position of the foramen was found to be variable. However, the foramen was predominantly located at the anteroposterior midpoint of the ramus halfway between the mandibular notch and the lower surface of the mandible and two thirds of the way down a line joining the coronoid process to the angle of the mandible. In the majority of the mandibles studied the foramen was located below the occlusal surfaces of the molar teeth. It is concluded that the marked variability in the position of the mandibular foramen may be responsible for an occasional failure to block the inferior alveolar nerve.