- Fingerprints cannot be altered and only a severe injury can alter a person’s fingerprints.
- There are many different class characteristics of fingerprints, though none are the same. Sir Francis Galton classified three basic shapes of loops, arches and whorls as three types first. Although, there are more than five classifications today, the three essential fingerprint types remain the same to this day.
- Loops are the most commonly occurring fingerprint pattern and over 60 -65% of people have loop patterns, 30-35% of the people whorls and a mere 5% of the population has arches. Some odd fingerprints, but not unheard of, include the accidental and spiral fingerprint patterns.
- Fingerprints, which can be seen by the naked eye, are called patent fingerprints, like ink fingerprints etc. Fingerprints that cannot be seen by the naked eye are called latent fingerprints, like the ones found on hard surfaces, such as wood or glass. The fingerprints which are left on soft surfaces, like cheese or soap, are called plastic or moulded fingerprints.
- The study of fingerprints is called Dactyloscopy, a word derived of a combination of Greek words ‘daktylos’ and ‘skopein’ meaning finger and to examine, respectively.
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