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Are all fingerprints different?

Even a genetically identical twin has different fingerprints. This fine pattern arises in the womb in a completely random manner.

© Karen Kasmauski / Getty Images

Even identical twins, which have 100 percent identical genes, do not have the same fingerprints. That is why the police and court worldwide accept fingerprints as decisive evidence.

Fingerprint does not change

The structure of fingerprints is determined by the genes, but details arise randomly in the development of the fetus.

In months three and four of the pregnancy, the fingers get a kind of pillow because of the pressure of the water.

When this pressure decreases again, loops, circles and arcs are created in a pattern that differs per finger and per person. After their formation, the fingerprints no longer change.

Is your fingerprint unique?

Based on statistical models, researchers determine that the chance of a total match is zero.

Whether each print is truly unique is hard to prove scientifically; for that you would have to take the prints of the more than 7 billion people on earth and compare them.

Three types of fingerprints

To identify someone on the basis of his fingerprints, it is first determined which type is involved. Fingerprints are classified into three main types with a distinctive pattern: loops, circles and arcs.

Video: Why Are Your Fingerprints Unique? (April 2020).

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