Vintage illustration of Fingerprint Patterns.
Fingerprints have been collected, observed and tested as a means of unique identification of people for more than 100 years.
The two basic ideas scientists believe about fingerprints are:
1. Fingerprints never change. Small ridges form on a person’s hands and feet before they are born and do not change for as long as the person lives.
2. No two fingerprints are alike. The ridges on the hands and feet of all people have three characteristics (ridge endings, birfurcations and dots) which appear in combinations that are never repeated on the hands or feet of any two people.
In the over 140 years that fingerprints have been routinely compared world wide, no two areas of friction skin on any two people (including identical twins) have been found to contain the same individual characteristics in the same unit relationship. This means that in general, any area of friction skin that you can cover with a dime (and often with just a pencil eraser) on your fingers, palms, or soles of your feet will contain sufficient individual characteristics in a unique unit relationship to enable positive identification to the absolute exclusion of any other person on earth.