Our fingers and toes get pruney when wet. It happens to even the smoothest among us.

And it happens to each of us in roughly the same way. There are wildly different ways wrinkles could occur on a surface, but pruney fingers have a particular look. Mine below illustrates the pruney signature.

This universality already suggests that there could be a good evolutionary reason for pruney fingers.

…unless. What if pruney-ness is an incidental side effect of something? What if, say, water is absorbed into the skin, and those wrinkles are simply the physical result?

But why would water absorption lead to wrinkles with that signature shape? And why would water absorption lead to wrinkles on the finger tips but not all the other spots on the body? And why would water absorption lead to wrinkles at all, given that water absorption should generally lead to swelling and consequently taut skin?

Read more at Forbes Magazine.

Read a new study about the pruney finger adaptation.

Published On: January 9, 2013

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