Hands. One of the most important parts of your body. Seriously—how would you manage without them? As hand therapists, we have an intimate relationship with hands, working with thousands of hands every year. There are so many facts about human hands that keep us in awe of this critical body part.
We wanted to take a moment to share how impressive this body part is by sharing 18 fun, fascinating and interesting facts about human hands.
18 Interesting Facts About Human Hands
- There are 27 bones, 29 joints and at least 123 named ligaments in the human hand
- What sets our hands apart from other animals is our opposable thumbs—this means our thumbs and fingers can work together ( fun fact: koala bears also have opposable thumbs)
- You cannot get a tan on your palm and underside of your fingers
- Fingerprints are a completely unique DNA imprint that is different in every single human being. No two human beings in the world have similar fingerprints.
- There are tons of words that include the word ‘hand’: handy, handwriting, handiwork, handle, handbag, handsome, handball, etc.
- The average hand length for adult women is 6.7 inches. The average length for men is 7.4 inches
- Fingers don’t have muscles—tendons in our fingers are moved by the muscles of the forearm
- Men tend to have longer ring fingers than index fingers—girls vice versa
- Hand surgeons say that the index finger is the best one to lose—if you had a choice. The index finger is needed the least
- Your fingernails show your state of health—they can indicate problems such as mineral or vitamin deficiencies, liver trouble, thyroid or anemia. Some warning signs of deficiencies that show up on your nails may be that they are brittle, pale or spotted.
- The color of the nails and those small “moons” on each nail can identify the quality of oxygen level of the bloodstream and blood circulation
- Our fingers are even more sensitive than the eyes—the fingertips have a large number of receptors responsible for sending messages to the brain.
- The vein on your ring finger is called Venna Amoris—it has a direct line with the human heart and is known as the vein of love. That’s why we wear an engagement ring on the left hand’s finger!
- Nails stop growing after death
- Structurally, fingernails are actually modified hairs
- Julius Caesar ordered the thumbs of captured prisoners to be cut off
- 6% of all men and 9.9% of all women are left-handed
- It takes up to 6 months for a fingernail to grow from root to tip
Hopefully these 18 facts have shed some more light on how our hands are so incredible! We hope you enjoyed reading these facts about your hands and that you learned some new things.