Feb. 14, 2014

Test the Finger Wrinkle Hypothesis

by Ariel Zych

Click to enlarge images
The video below explores what causes your fingers to wrinkle after a long soak in the tub and suggests that wrinkly fingers might improve our ability to handle wet objects. Test this hypothesis in the following experiment, which uses only a water bottle, a paperclip, and a plastic ruler.
Target Grades: Grades 6-8
Content Areas: Biology, Engineering and Technology
Activity Type: Lab Investigation
“Getting a Grip on Finger Wrinkles,” produced by Flora Lichtman
  • Smooth, plastic ruler with a hole at one end (without raised lines or numbers)
  • Large paperclip, straightened out
  • Large water bottle with screw cap, with a looped lid for paperclip attachment
  • Notebook or student data sheet
  • Bowl of water for soaking fingers
Safety Considerations
Water may splash in this experiment. Always walk—never run—in the laboratory, and steer clear of electrical equipment and outlets while conducting this experiment.


About Ariel Zych

Ariel is Science Friday's education manager. She is a former teacher and scientist who spends her free time making food, watching arthropods, and being outside. You can follow her @arieloquent

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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