The Kid Should See This

How to dust for fingerprints

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What did you touch today? The light switch in your room? A water glass? A car door handle? “If you tried, could you remember all the things you touched today?” It might be hard to remember every single thing you touched…

“But strangely enough, the objects themselves remember because you leave a trace of yourself on every object you touch. Your fingerprints! …They’re almost like little ghosts that we leave behind wherever we go.”

Those little ‘ghosts’ are made from the oil and sweat left on surfaces by the unique patterns of ridgesβ€”dermatoglyphsβ€”on the tips of our fingers.

little ghosts
Hard-to-see prints are called latent fingerprints. If the prints are visible, like those made from dirt or ink, they’re called patent fingerprints. And three-dimensional impressions, called plastic fingerprints, might be found in soap, clay, wax, and semi-wet glue or paint.

Learn how to dust for these ubiquitous latent prints with this two-minute MetKids video. You’ll need a mirror, a metal spoon, a magazine page, a teaspoon of baby powder, and a soft clean paintbrush. A magnifying glass or microscope might be fun, too.

Want to ‘lift’ the print? Place a piece of clear tape on the powdered print, gently pull it off, then stick the tape on a contrasting piece of paper.

fingerprint found!
Then watch these related videos:
β€’ An up-close look at fingerprints and sweat glands
β€’ Why are your fingerprints unique?
β€’Β Marion Deuchars’ Let’s Make some Great Fingerprint Art

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