The popular fingerprint grip theory, which held that they help improve grip by increasing friction between people's hands has been disproved, scientists have claimed.
Researchers at the University of Manchester found no basis for this theory. Study leader Dr Roland Ennos created a machine that could measure the amount of friction generated by a fingerprint when it was in contact with the acrylic glass.
Thereafter the machine was fitted to the index finger of a student. If the fingerprint theory was true, then the friction between the finger and acrylic glass should have increased. But this did not happen.
Dr Ennos revealed that the skin in this case had started behaving like a rubber material, "where the friction is proportional to the contact area between the two surfaces."
This totally disproved the grip theory. The details of the study appear in the Journal of Experimental Biology.