Can Two People Have Identical Fingerprints?
If there is one thing in the world you have that nobody else has, it’s your very own fingerprints. See the loops and swirls the tiny ridges of skin make on the tips of your fingers. Each pattern is a little different from all the others, and they remain practically unchanged from birth to death.
No two persons can have exactly the same fingerprints. Take the prints of several friends by pressing their fingertips on an ink pad and then onto a piece of white paper. Examine the fingerprints. You will find that even identical twins have different fingerprints.
The Chinese were the first to use fingerprints to affix their signature on important documents though they had no way of identifying or matching it with the owner.
Scientists and criminologists (those who study criminal characteristics) determine the individuality of a fingerprint by a careful study of its ridge characteristics (minutiae) and not by its general shape or pattern.
The surface of the skin has been designed to provide our bodies with a firm grasp and to prevent objects grasped from slipping. Skin is composed of layers of cells.
The outer portion of skin is called the epidermis while the inner skin is the dermis. Separating the two layers is a boundary of cells called the papillae.
Each skin ridge has a single row of pores that open out for the sweat glands. Once the finger touches a surface, sweat from these pores, along with other body oils layer the ridge of the skin and are thus transferred to that surface.
The result is an impression of the finger’s ridge pattern. Such prints are referred to as hidden fingerprints because they are invisible to the naked eye.