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How fingerprints are formed

Fingerprints are one of the most amazing things about us that we barely think about. If you take a look at your hand now you will see incredibly unique patterns. The formation of these fingerprints is incredibly interesting and special. Read on to learn more.

First of all, we should say that fingerprints are not as unique as everyone pretends. According to scientists, the probability of two people having the same fingerprint is about 1 in 64 million. That means although it is extremely unlikely, there could be 117 people (7.5 billion divided by 64 million) with the exact same fingertip as you. Keep this in mind if you are ever convicted of a crime.

Fingerprints are formed while we are still in the womb. The process starts in the second and third months when we are just a couple of inches in size. We initially form pads on our fingers. During the third and fourth month, we start to develop a skin. The rate of growth of the pads and the skin and how they grow together can impact some of the ridges we see on our skin.

The exact ridgelines are so unique because they depend on our position in the womb, how much we touch things while in there and the density of the amniotic fluid. The ridges can form in three notable patterns, loops, whorls and arches. These all depend on how formed your finger pads are at the time the ridges start to develop. If you have small pads, you get an arch, medium pads you get a loop, and very pronounced pads get a whorl. 

Scientists are now suggesting that the ridgelines themselves may be able to predict some diseases that people are predisposed to getting. If this is true then it will be a huge step forward in understand and dealing with diseases and could change the average life expectancy dramatically.

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