What Makes You Totally Different from Anyone Else in the World?

If you look down at the tips of your fingers and toes, you will see patterns of circles and swirls on the ridges of your skin. No other person in the world, living or dead, has exactly the same pattern as you, nor will anyone yet to be born. Even though your body grows and changes in many different ways, the exact patterns of circles and swirls of your fingers and toes, your fingerprints and footprints, will remain the same all your life.

You can get a clearer picture of what your prints look like by pressing your finger tips or your feet on an inked pad and then on white paper. Your prints will be reproduced in exact detail. You will see one or more of three main patterns: an arch, or small hill; a loop, or hairpin turn; or a whorl, or circular pattern. You may have all whorls or all arches, or a combination of loops and whorls or arches and loops. Not only are these prints different from anyone else’s in the world, but each of your fingers is different from the next.

Fingerprints and footprints provide foolproof identification of newborn infants by hospitals and of missing persons, amnesia victims, and criminals by police.

The FBI in Washington, D.C., has the largest collection of fingerprints on file in the world, nearly 2,000,000!