Why do we have lines on the palms of our hands?

This is a question about which there has been a great deal of argument, but there is not much doubt about the answer now. Some people have said that the use of these lines was to give us a better hold upon things. It was thought that they should prevent things from slipping, but probably that is not their real use. If it was so then we should have to say that they were scarcely worth having.

It is much more likely that the use of these lines is to help the sense of touch in our hands and fingers, where touch is so important. By making little valleys and ridges they increase the surface of skin, and by going in different directions they help us to feel the kind of surface that anything which we touch has. The little endings of the nerves of touch are placed to the greatest advantage by means of these lines, and that seems to be why they are so very well marked on just those parts of the skin where delicacy of touch is most important.

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