Have you ever visited a restaurant and worried about your fingerprints left on the beer can? Or you may have visited your school and left a little of yours on every object you touched? People often underestimate the power of fingerprints. Fingerprints are something very unique and important aspect of someone’s identity that not many people realize. They are like barcodes that identify each human in their species. Additionally, they are the most crucial forensic evidence that is becoming an everyday tool in the field of science and criminology.

What is the science behind the human barcode?

For more than 2000 years we have known that fingerprints distinguish every individual on the planet yet we began studying ‘why’ very recently. Fingerprints are the patterns on our fingertips, which co-exist with the patterns on our palms and soles of the feet. They are unique to everyone as well as fixed. One may get injuries, bruises, or cuts on the skin, yet they always regenerate following the original pattern.


Fingerprints are formed in the fetus and remain like that until you die. They are determined by every individual’s genetic information like the location of the fetus in the uterus or the density of the amniotic fluid. Having said that, even a clone or a twin cannot possess similar fingerprints to any individual. One can relate this to having a unique barcode that distinguishes one from another.

As the skin is the largest organ in the body and thus it is not wrong to conclude that your skin might reveal important information about you through fingerprints. In many cultures and religions, people believe in the art of palm reading while the non-believer discards the theory as mere superstitions. But in reality, palm reading is indeed backed with science. Though it might not reveal incidents of your future which many palm readers promise, however, your fingerprints can shed light on who you truly are.

Fingerprints not just convey your genetic information, they also reveal your intelligence or brain activity as they are developed at the same time as the brain’s neocortex, which controls emotions and cognitive abilities. Surprisingly, the children born without a brain do not have fingerprints either, which proves that there is an underlying connection between both. To be precise, our fingerprints are a whole world of information hiding in small and often invisible things.

Fingerprints have provided a multitude of possibilities in the field of forensics.


If we talk about the anatomy of fingerprints, they are basically made out of three molecules, the sweat molecules produce sweat in our body, molecules that we include in our body, and then we sweat out, and molecules that we contaminate our fingertips with like drugs or blood. This way and finger leave behind traces of who we are, what we had, and most importantly what we have touched. They give a unique molecular signature that could reveal aspects of your daily life.

The fingerprints found at crime scenes can contain information that is very important for subjective policing. Many criminals assume that as long as they are not on the fingerprints database, they cannot be caught. But with modern technology, even the impossible is possible. Precisely, from fingerprints, experts can identify even the deepest secrets of your life including what health conditions you have, what drugs you consume, what is your blood type even what type of condom you use to narrow down the brand as well. It means that the information invisible to naked eyes can be well-read just by a fingerprint.

The science of fingerprints has come a long way from just uniquely identifying people. They are the storyteller of our life and echoes our darkest secrets in just one touch.  

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