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Long time was considered that the skin is wrinkled due to normal osmosis water seeps into the cells, and the outer layers of the skin because of this swell and become deformed. However, experiments, and observations of recent years has convinced scientists that here, most likely, the problem in the nerves. When the skin is under water, nerves give its vessels command narrow, and fabric decreases in volume. As a result, the surface of the skin still shrinks, though for a different reason.

It is known that if a process is "nervous" management, it is evolutionary rationale, that is for a good cause. But what do you want the skin pucker under water? Two years ago there was a hypothesis that the wrinkles on his hands help to grab and hold on to something scuba or just wet. Experiments researchers from Newcastle University (UK) this hypothesis is confirmed. The subjects were required to perform a simple task: to get one arm out of the water a small object like a glass ball or fishing sinkers, pass it through a small hole in his other hand and then put through the new hole in the box. It is clear that the success of manipulation depended on how tenacious fingers held the subject.

It turned out that with wrinkled skin of the hands of the participants of the experiment was carried out the task by 12% faster (and the skin was wrinkled her, laying his hands on half an hour in the hot water). With dry items wrinkled skin no benefits were not given. That is the bumps that appear on the skin under the water, is really improves adhesion to wet surface, like the tread on the tyre. (This analogy is particularly relevant, if we remember that the skin becomes wrinkled not only on the hands and feet.) The results will be published in the journal Biology Letters.

However, it remains unclear what exactly gives wrinkled skin that advantage. According to one version, wrinkles divert excess water from the place of touching two surfaces, and then the skin and the subject can directly communicate with each other, without water layer between them. On the other wrinkles simply increase the area of contact. At the same time, it is unclear whether it is the subject of the selection or the side effect of nervous system. To determine the evolutionary path wrinkled skin, you need to do research on primates.

It is worth noting that this is not the only explanation as to why from the water on the skin to wrinkle. There is an assumption that wrinkled skin becomes less sensitive; it can have some advantages under water or in damp conditions. Wrinkled skin can, for example, made more vulnerable and thus make its owner to move more cautiously. However, as we can see, so far, scientists hands reached only up to one of the hypotheses.

Based on the materials of Newcastle University.
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