popular | Science

Why Our Fingers and Toes Wrinkle When Wet

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If your fingers or toes have spent more than 10 minutes in water, then you've noticed how "pruney" they can get when you've left the bathtub, lake, or swimming pool.

Many people who are unaware of why this happens attempt to attribute it to how we evolved. Could this be a vestigial feature that serves no function, or are we one step behind the likes of Spider Man? Perhaps we'd turn into a mermaid if we were exposed to water long enough?

In the early twentieth century, many scientists believed that fingers and toes became "pruney" because of how water moved into the dry outer layers of our skin, which would then puff up and shrivel.

But then scientists discovered something interesting when they investigated why some people's fingers and toes don't wrinkle.

Further research into understanding why that happens revealed something quite interesting...

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