This is why your hands and feet go all wrinkly when you're in water 3 years ago

This is why your hands and feet go all wrinkly when you're in water

Ever wondered why?

The standard reason for your hands and feet going wrinkly in the bath is simply that you've been chilling for a long time, but according to science, there's another explanation.


It's not a new theory by any means but having discussed it in Her HQ this week, not everyone was aware of the rather surprising reason.

Anyway, the reason your hands and feet go wrinkly is to allow you to have a better grip underwater.

A study conducted by Kyriacos KareklasDaniel NettleTom V. Smulders was featured in Biology Letters and it explains the process in considerable detail.

The research found that objects which have been submerged under water are more easily picked up with wrinkled fingers than with unwrinkled fingers.


"These findings support the hypothesis that water-induced finger wrinkles improve handling submerged objects and suggest that they may be an adaptation for handling objects in wet conditions".

Although it was previously thought that the wrinkled effect was due to water passing through the outer layer of the skin, apparently the wrinkles are actually due to the body's autonomic nervous system, which controls breathing, heart rate and perspiration.

Blood vessels then constrict below the skin, lending to the wrinkled appearance.


According to Smulders, an evolutionary biologist, wrinkled fingers could have helped our ancestors to gather food in wet conditions while wrinkled toes would have allowed for a better grip in rainy weather.

MAD altogether.