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Pruney Fingers

  1. Why Does Your Skin Get So Pruney In The Tub?

    Impress your wet friends with the answer to this age-old mystery!

    Have you ever emerged from a soak and worried that you're stuck with the pruney fingers of an old hag for all eternity? Some German physicists were concerned about that too, so they investigated how our fingers get so wrinkly in the first place-and why they don't stay that way.

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  2. TED-Ed Explains Why Your Fingers Get Pruney When They’re Wet in a Cartoon Full of Monkeys

    Pruney fingers may have helped our primate ancestors grip things in the rain, the way tire treads provide traction on a slippery road.

    As far as mysteries of the universe go, "Why do our fingers get pruney when they're wet?" isn't exactly the most pressing. It is, however, among the most persistent and just plain weird. After all, what kid hasn't wondered this? It's among our most common early scientific queries, though the answer remains unclear.

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  3. Research Shows Pruney Fingers Are an Evolutionary Advantage, Still Gross to Look At

    Among other things our pedantic mothers warned us about when playing around in a swimming pool, getting pruney fingers from staying in the water too long was one of them, as though having one's fingertips resemble tiny geriatric faces was a terminal disease. It's a common experience nearly every human being on the planet has shared and yet science has never quite determined the purpose of this wrinkly phenomenon -- until now. Once thought to have been the swelling of the outer layers of skin caused from extended submersion, a research team from the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University has discovered that pruney digits are an evolutionary response of the nervous system which allows us to get a grip on wet surfaces.

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  4. Study: Water Wrinkles On Fingers May Actually Have A Purpose

    We all get them. The little wrinkles that turn our finger tips into raisins after time in a swimming pool or even just your daily shower. But why on Earth do we need "pruney" fingers? Evolutionary neurobiologist Mark Changizi from 2AI Labs in ID is challenging our common perceptions about the wrinkling of our finger tips. Contrary to popular belief that the changes in our fingers are caused by the absorption of water, Changizi believes the wet finger wrinkles may be a valuable adaptation that allows us to grip objects better under slippery conditions. According to Changizi, the wrinkles may act like rain treads on tires, creating channels that allow water to drain away when our fingers are pressed against a wet surface. This would allow the fingertips to make more contact with the wet surface, thus having a better grip. But Changizi's hypothesis is not without skeptics.

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