Daily Bulletin


News

  • Written by Christian Moro, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Bond University
Curious Kids: why do our toes and fingers get wrinkly in the bath? If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au. Why do our toes and fingers get wrinkly in the bath? – Jade, aged almost 4. Thanks for your question, Jade. The truth is scientists aren’t exactly sure why our fingers and toes get wrinkly in the bath. Here’s what we do know: it happens when we stay in the bath for more than about five minutes, but can happen faster if the water is hotter. In warm water (about 40 degrees Celsius), the skin on your hands and feet can wrinkle in only 3.5 minutes it also happens to macaque monkeys it only happens on our hands and feet. The rest of our skin doesn’t tend to wrinkle in this way. Curious Kids: why do our toes and fingers get wrinkly in the bath? The truth is: scientists aren’t sure why our fingers and toes get wrinkly in hot water. Radarsmum67/flickr, CC BY We do know the water doesn’t just leak into our fingers all by itself. The body actually works to let the water past the first few layers of skin. It has something to do with our nervous system, the network of “wires” that help pass messages from your brain to various parts of your body. In fact, if you cut or damage certain nerves, the skin on hands or feet won’t wrinkle when wet. And we also know the wrinkling has something to do with blood vessels shrinking. Blood vessels are the tiny pipes that carry blood around your body. Veins, arteries and capillaries are all types of blood vessels. So we have some clues about how the skin wrinkles, but no clear answer on why. Even though we don’t really understand why this wrinkling happens, there are some theories. Theories means scientists have come up with their best guesses. Good grip in a slippery situation? Have you found things that are wet are easier to pick up when your hands are wrinkly? Some scientists think wrinkling may give us better grip in water. This makes it easier for us to touch and hold wet objects with our hands. Our toes also wrinkle in water, and so maybe this helps us safely walk on wet surfaces. A very long time ago, this would have helped our ancestors collect food from underwater, especially in fast-flowing water like you might see in a creek or river. However, some scientists tested this idea, and found having wrinkled fingers often did not help. So maybe this isn’t the answer after all. Why aren’t our fingers always wrinkly? If there are some good things to do with wrinkly fingers and toes, why aren’t they always this way? Well, wrinkles might make it easier for our skin to get injured or make it harder to feel sensations. And if your feet are wet and wrinkly all the time you might get a painful and dangerous condition called trench foot. So maybe wrinkly hands and feet aren’t something you want all the time. Your question is a very interesting one that scientists still wonder about. Maybe one day you will find the answer. Curious Kids: why do our toes and fingers get wrinkly in the bath? Maybe it’s not a good idea to have wrinkly hands and feet all the time. www.shuttershock.com, CC BY

Authors: Christian Moro, Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Bond University

Read more http://theconversation.com/curious-kids-why-do-our-toes-and-fingers-get-wrinkly-in-the-bath-120229

Writers Wanted

To learn at home, kids need more than just teaching materials. Their brain must also adapt to the context

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Business News

7 foolproof tips for bidding successfully at a property auction

Auctions can be beneficial for prospective buyers, as they are transparent and fair. If you reach the limit you are willing to pay, you can simply walk away. Another benefit of an auction is tha...

Dominique Grubisa - avatar Dominique Grubisa

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co

Avoid These Mistakes When Changing up Your Executive Career

Switching up industries is a valid move at any stage in your career, even if you’re an executive. Doing so at this stage can be a lot more intimidating, however, and it can be quite difficult know...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion