Everyone is born with a fingerprint. And no two fingerprints are exactly alike, even identical twins have different fingerprints.


Fingerprints are unique tiny friction ridges that appear on our fingertips, thumbs, toes, palms, and soles. Fingerprints are very much unique to every individual.

How are they formed?

It is so fascinating to know that fingerprints are formed in the womb right before when we were born and when we were a fetus in the womb. Apparently, each fingerprint develops in phases as a fetus grows in the womb. The pads on the fingertips and palms start developing during the second and third month of pregnancy, and the size of the fetus is about 1 and 3.5 inches.

During the fourth month of gestation, the skin of the fetus begins to develop as a thin transparency layer, and eventually transforms into a waxy coating. At this point the middle layer of the skin and the basal layer begin to outgrow both the inner dermis and epidermis. At sixth months, the “Ridges” which are the faint lines on the fingertips that create a foundation on the fingerprints are formed. At this point the fingerprints are fully developed.

Ultimately, fingerprints are made up of arrangement of friction ridges. It is the ridge that enables us to grasp an object, write and paint properly. Our fingers have sweat glands that secrete some oils and salt through the tiny pores on the finger surface. However, this sticky film of sweat and oil trapped in the ridges leaves behind a print when we touched anything.


There are 3 distinct types of friction ridges pattern;

  • Loops
  • Whorls
  • Arches

Each of these patterns has unique variations, relationship of the ridges and shapes.


Constitute about 60% of the total finger print pattern. They are the most popular fingerprint pattern. The ridges in the loop enter from one side of a finger, form a curve, and then exit on that same side. They are subdivided into;

Radial loop –The flow of this pattern slopes toward the thumb.

Ulna loop ­– The flow of this pattern slopes toward the little finger.

Double loop – it contains two distinct loop formations.


Constitute about 35% of the pattern types. They form a circular or spiral pattern, like tiny whirlpools.  They are subdivided into;

Plain whorls –   forms a circular pattern.

Central Pocket Whorl – curves more than once in order to form a smaller inner whorl.

Accidental whorl – irregular shaped, and contains two features of the tented arch, loop or whorl patterns.


Constitutes about 5% of the pattern types. The ridges of the finger run continuously from one side of the finger, forming an arc in the center, and then exit in other side of the finger. In other words, create a wave-like pattern. They subdivided into;

Plain arch – It starts on one side of the finger and the ridge then slightly falls like a waterfall continues its journey along the finger to the other side.

Tented arch – rise to a sharper point, lies in the ridges in the Center and is not continuous like the plain arch.

Certainly, Fingerprints are applied in Conducting background checks, Providing bio-metric security, identifying amnesia victims and unknown deceased, and of course, it is very much important in the investigation and analysis in the criminal justice realm.

However, it is interesting to know that Fingerprints do not change even as people gets older, have a change in their appearance such as their hair turning white or grey, and their facial appearances changing. The fingerprints still stay the same.

Do you have a Loop, Whorl or Arch fingerprint?

Identify your fingerprint pattern now.


  1. Victor says:

    Tented Arch

  2. suu says:

    wonderful piece

  3. Godsgift says:

    Thanks for the enlightment, ma

  4. Kelechi Peter says:

    This is good

  5. Harry says:

    Great knowledge

  6. Priye says:

    Tented arch

  7. Priye says:

    Mine is Tented arch

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