• Valerie Carter

7 Fascinating Facts about Hands!




"The human hand is so beautifully formed, its actions are so powerful, so free and yet so delicate that there is no thought of its complexity as an instrument; we use it as we draw our breath, unconsciously." said Sir Charles Bell in 1833.


1) Humans are special in that possess opposable thumbs (meaning thumb and fingers can work together to pick up and manipulate objects.) They are not singular in this however, other creatures with this dexterity include apes, monkeys, lemurs, koalas, giant pandas and possums.


2) The human hand is unlike all other mammals in that it alone has the ability to rotate the small and ring finger across the palm to meet the thumb. This gives the human hand unparalleled grip, grasp and torque capability.


3) The human hand is a complex collection of 27 bones, 29 joints, over 123 ligaments, 31 muscles, 48 nerves and 30 arteries.




4) Fingerprints are completely unique in every single human being.


5) Fingernails show your state of heart.


6) The fingertips are even more sensitive than the human eyes.


7) The evolution of language began with hand usage. Evidence of long use of sign language to communicate in Africa, Australia and North American existed before spoken language emerged.


Hands are necessary for daily living and for communication. They are truly amazing! They can do an array of incredible activities. Hands are remarkable for holding hands with loved ones, walking a dog, gardening, waving, cleaning, typing, painting, writing, fixing things, moving objects, riding a bike, driving a car, texting, cooking, mowing a lawn, swimming, dancing, playing tennis, performing, praying, stroking, hugging, eating, shopping, carrying, lifting, holding up a sign, dressing, bathing, changing a diaper, cooking, flying a kite, throwing a ball, catching a frisbee, jumping rope, changing a tire, building a sandcastle, boxing, raking leaves, shoveling snow, drawing, paying someone, opening a door, closing a window, blowing your nose, putting on makeup, shaving, brushing teeth, holding a book, digging a hole, fishing, eating, showering, getting dressed, opening a package, keyboarding, doing a handstand, setting a table, pointing, gesturing, feeding pets, pushing a stroller, putting on a hat, carrying an umbrella, tying shoelaces, zipping up a jacket, giving a massage, pulling a wagon, folding clothes, petting a cat, getting a massage, playing cards, putting on sunglasses, carrying a child, climbing a tree, making love, brushing hair, rowing a boat, knitting, sewing, punching a bag, clapping, holding a remote control, putting on jewelry, teaching, flying an airplane, farming, voting, decorating a room, raising a flag, wrapping a present, cutting hair, using a calculator, stocking shelves, knitting, doing dishes, shaving, drinking coffee, hanging curtains, vacuuming, riding a horse, taking vitamins, helping someone, crafting, eating pizza, picking flowers and of course signing! And no doubt, many many more wondrous things...





Years ago, with a small baby to care for, I broke my arm in two places and needed to wear a cast for 6 weeks. At the beginning of this period, one hand was unusable and the other had very little functionality. Somehow, I managed but this experience gave me a much greater appreciation for my invaluable and incredible hands. Have you thought about your hands and how much they do for you and for others every day?

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