Your identity at the tips of your fingers: things you need to know

Science Story: Your identity at the tips of your fingers: things you need to know

What do you know about your fingers? What do they know about you? There are things you definitely need to know. Learn more about them from the following article!


One can be easily distinguished by his/her fingerprints. Thus, it's a very serious natural document of a person.

It’s a unique picture or a pattern of skin layers on fingers, palms, feet, and tongue. It appears on a fetus 18 week after conception and does not change throughout the whole life. It is also known as “epidermal ridges”.

The tradition of taking fingerprints comes from China. First records from Qin Dynasty dated 221-206 BC contain information about fingerprints as evidence during burglary investigations.

The Chinese also used marks left by their fingers to protect clay seals during Qin and Han Dynasties (221 BC - 220 AD).

In modern history, the first person who offered to define criminals by their fingerprints was Henry Faulds in 1880.

A bit later, Francis Galton proved that there are no identical fingerprints. He was also the first person to collect fingerprints cards. The government of Great Britain saw some sense in Galton's theories and used it to identify the perpetrators.

Though there is almost no way of permanently changing your natural fingerprint, there have been several attempts to do so. John Dillinger burnt his own prints off with acid. Another criminal used skin transplantation from his chest to his fingers. Forensics experts say, only a permanent damage to the skin tissue can remove your fingerprints. If skin regenerates, it will restore its unique friction ridge patterns. Even after death, a body can be identified by them.

Cats and koalas have unique fingerprints too. Cats and dogs also have unique noses.

After identification by fingerprints has been introduced in smartphones, experiments show that fingerprint sensors might work for your pets. But don’t be afraid – they won’t unlock your phone without your strong intention to help them to do so.

Epidermal ridges help transmit signals to sensory nerves in texture perception, amplifying triggered vibrations when i.e. they rub against an uneven surface. These ridges also create a better surface contact for firm gripping and can be used as protection when you touch rough materials.

  • Up to this day, no identical fingerprints have been found.
  • Still, there is a chance that your fingerprints can be confused with someone else’s.
  • Statistically, there is a percentage of false positive matches of 0.1 percent. Since the total fingerprint intake nowadays is huge, thousands of people can be subjects to false positive identification.
  • Several genetic deviations are characterized by the absence of fingerprints. If there are no other symptoms but smooth fingers, this is called “Adermatoglyphia” and can cause a lot of trouble to people at a police check.
  • Probably, this is the reason there are several other ways of identification, like iris or tongue recognition.

If by any chance there’s no your personal record in FBI, your gender can be identified by fingerprints. Not much? Read further!

Recently other unique features of a human organism have been found and have already been accepted by several courts in the United States as a tool of personal identification. These data can tell much more about you than fingerprints, e.g. about your health, environment, diet, and genetics. Thus, they can be used not only in courts for establishing the guilt or purgation, but also for establishing proper medical treatment when no personal records are available.

That makes more sense in providing your “fingerprints” to officials, what do you think?


Have you heard about any of these facts before? Do you have any stories connected with fingerprints? Comment on the article!


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Your opinion matters
52 Comments
Danielle Dodin
Thank you very interesting
0
Aug 11, 2018 1:34AM
Tasneem Ahmed Khan
Thanks. So In Future Intelligence also used Tongue??
0
Jun 18, 2018 2:48AM
ninakamwene
Excellent and educational article. Thank you Quiz folks.
0
May 30, 2018 5:34PM
Claudia Garriga
VERY INTERESTING
0
May 17, 2018 12:01PM
Sandi Niemeyer
Interesting.
0
May 15, 2018 1:44AM
Charlene Lawrence
Interesting
0
May 5, 2018 11:26PM
Tom Burns
Knew most of this information.
0
Apr 22, 2018 8:33PM
Luzviminda Stiefel
very interesting
0
Apr 19, 2018 11:39AM
Linda Spreng
Good info ... BAD grammar!
0
Apr 8, 2018 5:10PM
Manuela Brociner
Very interesting
0
Mar 31, 2018 8:27AM
Mark Ann Dubaz
All good to know.
0
Mar 4, 2018 5:43PM
Joan Scott-Lange
Interesting
0
Mar 1, 2018 8:08AM
kbow
I have adermatoglyphia. FBI cant read my prints
0
Mar 1, 2018 12:34AM
Raymond Villamor
Where would a person leave a tongue print?
1
Feb 27, 2018 4:42PM
David Whitlock
Good to kmow
0
Feb 19, 2018 7:27AM

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