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For the amateur Sleuth



For the amateur Sleuth

About Fingerprints

As no two sets of fingerprints are exactly the same, they provide an extremely accurate method of identifying a specific person.

Over the years the police have identified many foolish felons from freely found fingerprints.

The ridges that make up the finger and hand prints are natures method of giving us extra grip when holding or picking things up.
Fingerprints are classified into arches, loops, whorls and composites for faster tracking.

I just did a quick sum and realised how fantastic this concept is. There must be around 65 thousand million individual finger prints just on Earth.

Despite the use of DNA and the fast approaching retina identification fingerprints are still an important identifier.

How to take fingerprints

The police use a thick, sticky ink to get their fingerprint impressions but I think I would be in real trouble with your adults if I were to suggest that.

You will need a small piece of white, smooth paper or cardboard to collect and store your fingerprints and an 'inking' square.

Take a square of light cardboard and rub the lead of a soft, 2B or 3B, pencil to cover the square.

Rub your fingertip over this square until the tip is quite black.
Then you can roll the fingertip on a clean piece of paper until the print becomes visible.

Look at a number of 'prints through a magnifying glass and note the variations until you can pick the prints of different people. Now you will be able to catch the person who has been raiding the lolly jar.

The Great Sleuth Party Game

Now here's a fun, and inexpensive, game that will keep your party guests amused for ages.

  • Have a piece of white, smooth paper or cardboard for each guest with their name written on it and a magnifying glass.
  • Have each guest place a clear print of their index finger on his/her sheet
  • Guests can take turns to be the 'Sleuth'
  • The 'Sleuth' leaves the room as one of the guests, 'the crook', leaves a print of the index finger on a clean 'clue sheet'
  • The 'Sleuth' reenters the room and attempts to determine who the 'crook' is by comparing the fingerprint to the guest finger print records
  • The 'Sleuth' can attempt to name the 'crook' as many times as necessary giving his/her reasons for that decision each time
  • The winner is the 'Sleuth' that gets the correct answer in the fewest tries


'A World of Trivia', 'Dear Grandpa Pencil' and 'A Cheapskate's Guide to Exploring Tasmania By Car'
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Published by Robin A Cartledge ~ ABN 19 924 273 138 ~ Low Head, Tasmania ~ Contact/Comment