The Real Reason Your Hands Get Wrinkly in Water. The Human Sponge Experiment
This is why your fingers get wrinkly when you have a bath
Ah one of life's great unanswerable questions, why do our fingers shrivel up in the bath?
There’s nothing we love more than a good long soak in the tub, especially after learning just how many calories you burn in a bath.
One thing we’re not such a fan of after treating ourselves to a bubble bath with the best bath products? The fact our fingers emerge looking shrivelled old prunes.
Whilst we’ve always put this down to the fact we’ve had our skin in the warm water for too long, it turns out that researchers at Newcastle University may have found an official (scientific) answer.
The study separated a group of volunteers into two groups. One group had dry hands, whilst the other group had wet hands and wrinkly fingers. Both groups were then asked to pick up either wet or dry marbles, and surprisingly the volunteers with wet hands and wrinkly fingers were faster at picking up the wet marbles.
The study has led scientists to believe that the wrinkling of our skin after touching water for a long period of time is actually an evolutionary reaction, as the blood vessels under our skin constrict and strengthen our grip on wet objects.
Tom Smoulders was one of the researchers who took part in the study and has said, ‘wrinkled fingers could have helped our ancestors to gather food from wet vegetations or streams.’
So, there you have it.
Video: Why Do We Wrinkle When Wet?
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