Zebras are one the most striking animals because they have those cool stripy patterns on their bodies. Tigers, cats and okapis have pretty neat markings, too. But what if I told you that you belong on the list of striped animals as well? That's right -- humans have stripes, too.
This trending fact on Twitter has left people speechless. Humans apparently have stripes on their body that are mostly invisible to the human eye. Called Blaschko’s lines, they were discovered by dermatologist Alfred Blaschko in 1901.
These stripes, which form V patterns on the back and S patterns on stomach, are due to the way embryonic cells proliferate. When cells divide, they do it in strips or “waves of development.” There are also smaller patterns on your arms, legs, and even your face, described as tiny glasses framing your eyes.
The stripes can be seen under strong UV lights for most people. Some people have a rare condition called chimerism (in which they have two distinct DNA strands), that make the stripes glaringly obvious.
Doctors have noticed that some rashes and skin conditions will follow along the stripe pattern. During surgery, doctors will sometimes cut and suture along these lines for neater results.
This realization freaked out a lot of people on Twitter, but this isn't news by any means. And, even if you were unaware, your cat has probably known all along.
On top of realizing that humans have stripes, Twitter was also buzzing with the concept that your pet has always seen you as a striped being. This is because cats (as well as dogs, ferrets and reindeer) have eye lenses that let UV light through. So theoretically, they can see things that we can’t. We might look like giant hairless tigers to our feline and canine friends. And that’s why dogs have that weird look on their faces when we’re trying to get dressed!
If only pets could talk, we could ask them what they see. Er, maybe some things are better left unsaid. What if our cats then explain that we're really their pets?
TL; DR: Humans have stripes on our skin that our pets can probably see.