I met a potential new friend yesterday who majored in anthropology in college. She explained to my mom and I that the different types of fingerprint patterns are associated with different regions and ethnicities. She can actually look at a person's fingerprints and tell whether they have African, Native American, European, Asian, or Middle Eastern genes in them. Now, fingerprints don't reveal all of a person's ancestry, nor does it reveal how much Native American, African, etc. genes we have. There are just certain patterns and combinations that appear more frequently within certain ethnicities. Let's use her reading on my mom and I as an example.
We already knew my mom's lineage is mostly European, so it wasn't a surprise when our anthropological friend said her fingerprints looked like a typical European's. I have Native American blood in me from my father's side, and I was interested to see if she could detect that. What she said surprised me though. She didn't see any Native American (that doesn't mean it's not there, just that it didn't appear in my prints), but she did see heavy indicators of Middle Eastern/North African/Spanish or East Asian ancestry. In fact, she said, "I've never seen so many arches on one person before." (I believe the subtext was "on a white person before" haha) I find that fascinating because as far as I knew, I had nothing other than Native American and European genes in me. It's not a guarantee, of course, that I have an ancestor from one of those regions, but it does make me extremely curious. I'm even thinking about doing one of those ethnicity DNA tests now.
As a bonus thing, she also said that different patterns are associated with right and left-handed people, something about the arrangement helping to grip things. She could tell, just by looking at my prints, that when I was a baby, I was left-handed. Sometime in my first year of life, I switched to my right, and I told her so. Really amazing. I love learning new things.
Though the timestamp doesn't indicate it, I posted this a day late. I don't have an excuse really. I had plenty of opportunity to post before I came down with a migraine. I just simply forgot to post.