2023-11-27 00:00:00 / episode: 315


Fingerprints are the stuff of Science fiction and detective novels, and maybe crime stories.

Everybody has fingerprints.

Well more about that later, anyway they're all unique.


Hi and welcome to the Les Perras podcast episode number 315.

You can practise extensive English listening to the topic of fingerprints in today's podcast.


One of the cool things about fingerprints and the reason that they're all hooked up with crime and police is that fingerprints are unique. Every human's fingerprints are different from every other human's fingerprints. Well that's not quite the case. There are very few cases of people who don't have any fingerprints. These are some extremely rare genetic diseases, and I didn't get the scientific name of these diseases because they're so rare that we don't need to worry about them. Anyway some people think that identical twins are well identical. It turns out they're not identical. They're extremely similar but they're not identical, and their fingerprints are different too. Your fingerprints are formed before you're even born. There are genetic things going on that give you the patterns on your fingers. And there are three of these patterns: arches, whorls and loops. I don't want to get into the scientific details of the patterns because that's pretty complex but there's about 150 points that they can measure on each fingerprint and then compare it against other fingerprints and find a distinct pattern. It's pretty compelling evidence if your fingerprints are found at the scene of the crime or on the murder weapon. The reason is because only your fingers have your fingerprints. This has been proven time and time again so they're accepted as proof that you touched whatever it was that has the fingerprint on it. And that's why police want to get your fingerprints because they want to find the guy who did the bad thing.

Nowadays they're even getting fingerprints when you enter and leave countries. I think that's a bit suspect but if you want to get in the country you have to comply so I've given my fingerprints many times. One of the cool things about fingerprints is that humans aren't the only animals to have fingerprints. You might say oh yeah well if humans have fingerprints and other animals do then they're probably the chimpanzees or the apes, right? Now in fact I didn't study about chimpanzees and apes to find out if they have fingerprints but the animal that does have fingerprints for sure is the koala. Now humans and koalas last common ancestor was like 134 million years ago. We don't really know why koalas evolve to have fingerprints like humans have fingerprints. We only know that they have them. Maybe there's some advantage to having fingerprints that we don't know about. I guess we'll have to do a little bit more scientific research in that area. Oh and by the way you can't get rid of your fingerprints. At least you can't get rid of them permanently.

Or if you do get rid of them you can't go out and commit crimes because in the process of getting rid of your fingerprints you're probably getting scars which are even more recognizable. So don't try and get rid of your fingerprints. That only happens in books. If you like listening to English for your extensive English listening then hit the Subscribe button below so you can get more of my podcasts. I’d love it if you made a comment below, too. Tell me if you have a secret way to get rid of fingerprints. Just kidding.