Offbeat — 02 October 2013

hands line

Our hands are full of lines. In the olden times, people believed that these lines could be read as a roadmap to our future though palmistry, as the pseudoscience is called, is largely discredited by the scientific community. But why do these lines appear on our hands and what is the evolutionary purpose of having them? Let’s find out.

They are marks of unique identity

Most mammals instinctively know that inbreeding is not conducive to the propagation of the species. Humans too have known this fact. While genetics ensured that we look like our parents and inherit the physical traits of our family, marks of unique identity like fingerprints, palm lines etc. have allowed us to distinguish ourselves from other members of the species and thus establish a sense of self within us too, this sense has been vital in the intellectual development of humans.

These lines prevent the skin of the palm from breaking

The human skin is a very sturdy organ. It has tremendous ability to adapt to extreme stresses. Since our hands are designed to serve a variety of functions, the skin on their region of the body needs to be able to withstand pressures from stretching and contouring a heck lot. Having lines on our hands basically allows the skin to segment itself into very strong and slightly less strong regions that can respond to touch or stretching and contouring appropriately.

They provide friction to the grip

If you compare the hands of an adult male and that of a delicate female or child, you’d notice that the hands of the male have darker lines and even their fingerprints appear prominent. Evolutionarily, having a palm and finger jiggered with prominent fingerprints and lines provided friction to the grip and gave males the ability to hold onto spears and tools better.

 

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Written by Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

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Anupam Jolly

With a bachelor’s degree in technology and over five years of experience in online content generation and distribution, Anupam Jolly has been creating and editing content spanning across a variety of domains. An avid environmentalist, Anupam Jolly believes that if humans can degrade the environment, they can save it from disaster too.

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