Your fingerprints are unique. They are yours, and yours alone. They can open doors, unlock your phone, let you into a country, or even just into a theme park. They are your personal identifier. Although there are many uses for fingerprints, perhaps the one which has most captured the public’s imagination is their use in forensic science. After all, how many criminals in stories wouldn’t have been caught without a careless fingerprint left at the scene. Because of this, it is quite fitting that this is also one of its first recorded uses.
Picture the scenario:
You pull up to deserted T-junction in your brand new Mini Cooper. After a cursory glance in each direction, there doesn’t seem to be anything there. But then again, you’ve driven this way hundreds of times and nothings ever there. You slowly ease into the middle of the junction. Suddenly the glint of another car’s windshield enters your peripheral vision. There’s a screech of tortured rubber but it’s too late. Time goes into slow motion as the two vehicles approach at what seems a glacial speed. Everything goes black. When you open your eyes again, the world is full of twisted metal. Your head feels like the morning after a heavy night with Orsen Welles and there’s smoke rising from under the hood. You’re battered and bruised, but alive. What’s the first thing that goes through your head?