- Education and Science
What Are fingerprints?
Look at the tips of your fingers. What do you see? Countless lines, unending and making circular shapes? These lines are called ridges and their pattern makes a ‘fingerprint'.You will have noticed that the ridges are arranged in patterns of loops, arches and spirals, and they are mainly predominant at the tips.Great interest was shown in fingerprinting even as far back in time as 1686. Marcello Malpighi, an Italian anatomy professor, studied the ridges of fingerprints under a microscope. His studies proved an important contribution to the science of fingerprinting for he observed that these ridges were actually arranged in patterns of loops and spirals.In 1892, Sir Francis Galton, an English scientist, was the first to prove that no two fingerprints were alike. Also, he was the first one to set up a collection of fingerprint records.Fingerprints are different for every person and can never be altered. Every individual has a completely different arrangement of loops and ridges. The pattern arrangement you see on your fingertips will remain with you for the rest of your life. Therefore, a fingerprint is considered positive proof to help identify a person. Fingerprints left at a crime scene enable detectives to catch the culprits.Incredible as it may seem, if the skin of the fingertips is burnt several times in succession, the same fingerprints appear each time after the burn wounds heal!