April 8, 2005


a while ago i noticed that my fingerprints on either hand were the same for matching pairs of fingers, except they were reversed in direction (as though in a mirror). the loops go left on my left hand and right on my right. this is pretty much what you would expect since everything else is symmetrical on people. and this is indeed the same for all my auxiliary fingers and thumbs—except for the pointer finger on my right hand, it goes left! the pointer looks the same on both hands. in physics terms: fingerprint parity is not conserved. here is a helpful diagram:

in fact, so strange was this to me when discovered that i conducted a survey by electronic mail and found that that everyone (of about 10) had this non-mirror conversion aspect. one person even had a ring finger with the same problem. why would my hands go through all the trouble of reversing themselves on a finger-by-finger basis and then screw up on the most important finger? does dna really leave this kind of thing up to chance? most importantly perhaps, why is it irregular? why does almost everyone have just one finger that does this, and is it always left hand uniform, right hand finger backwards? please leave a comment with your fingerprint specs, i don't want to look this up.