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Digits

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mckeonj
41819.  Mon Dec 26, 2005 5:46 pm Reply with quote

Traditionally puppets usually have three fingers and a thumb, and this tradition has been maintained in modern animated cartoon figures. This is apparently because four fingers on a puppet hand looks wrong. I think that movie Hobbits have only four toes, but I'm not sure. The regulation issue of human digits is of course five digits per limb, and please leave us not enter a discussion on "the thumb is not a finger". Nonetheless, some humans are born with extra digits - I myself have cousins with six toes on each foot. Is this anything to do with four-leaf clovers?

 
djgordy
41825.  Mon Dec 26, 2005 6:43 pm Reply with quote

The Hobbit feet in the Peter Jackson LOTR film had 5 toes. Some pairs have found their way into private hands and there are pics on the net.

http://www.alleycatscratch.com/lotr/makingem/Makeup/Feet/RealHobbitFeet.htm

In the Simpsons of course all the human characters have four fingers and in one episode Lisa says something like: "look at this, according to Time magazine in 50,000 years Man will have 5 fingers". The only exception is when Radioactive Man gains his super powers and he changes from 4 to 5 fingers. Even in the Treehouse of Horror episode based on the horror story "The Monkeys Paw" the paw had four digits.

However most Japanese Anime characters have five fingers. This is because having only four fingers is a sign of shame in Japan, due to Yakuzas cutting off their little finger if they make a big mistake.

 
Frances
42063.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:47 am Reply with quote

Anne Boleyn is said to have had a small extra finger on one hand, to hide which she wore extra-long sleeves. One reason why she was called a witch, as this was popularly supposed to be the teat at which the devil sucked.

Extra fingers are not that uncommon, especially in areas of long-time inbreeding. Cornwall and the Isle of Wight have a higher proportion of extra digits than most other parts of Britain.

 
Jenny
42104.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:10 pm Reply with quote

A friend of mine's baby boy was born with an extra finger - I think it was just removed surgically when he was very small, as it wasn't really functional.

 
Quaintly Ignorant
42107.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:56 pm Reply with quote

djgordy wrote:

In the Simpsons of course all the human characters have four fingers and in one episode Lisa says something like: "look at this, according to Time magazine in 50,000 years Man will have 5 fingers". The only exception is when Radioactive Man gains his super powers and he changes from 4 to 5 fingers. Even in the Treehouse of Horror episode based on the horror story "The Monkeys Paw" the paw had four digits.


I didn't know about Radioactive-Man in the simpsons, but I'd heard that the God character had five phalanges.

 
djgordy
42108.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:04 pm Reply with quote

Quaintly Ignorant wrote:


I didn't know about Radioactive-Man in the simpsons, but I'd heard that the God character had five phalanges.


This is the episode where Homer stops going to church and the house burns down. God appears but actually he keeps changing from 4 digits to 5 digits and back again. There are two possible explantions for this. First, being God he can have as many, or as few, fingers as he wishes when maifesting himself as a corporeal being. The second, less likely explanation, is that the animators screwed up.

 
Quaintly Ignorant
42109.  Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:07 pm Reply with quote

That's what they get for trying to illustrate it as a live broadcast, I suppose.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexadactyly

List of polydactyl people

Quote:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The following is a list of famous people who are, were, or are believed to have been polydactyl:

Considered authentic
Endre Ady, was born with six fingers, with an extra pinky, which was tied off with a thread, withered away and only a dot-like scar remained of it, and this feature contributed to his belief of being a kind of shaman, a chosen (or accursed) one, reflected a few times in his poetry as well

Antonio Alfonseca, relief pitcher for the Florida Marlins, as of May 2005.

Anne Boleyn, 2nd wife of Henry VIII - said to have had eleven fingers, although she only had a double fingernail and a lump on her little finger

Eric Bristow The "Crafty Cockney" is a former darts world champion who has six toes on one foot, he claims it assists him in balance.

Liam Gallagher, singer with Oasis, has six toes on each foot.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 16th century Japanese ruler
S'fiso Ncwane, South African Gospel singer, small extra finger on each hand

Pacal the Great, King of Palenque - said to have had six toes on his feet

Hrithik Roshan, a Bollywood actor - has an additional thumb on his right hand

Sir Garry Sobers, cricketer - had an extra finger on each hand (removed during childhood)

Giuseppe Tartini, Italian composer and violinist - had six fingers on his left hand

"Hound Dog" Taylor, an American blues musician - had an extra finger on his left hand

Albert Uderzo, comic artist
Sid Wilson, an American DJ - was born with six fingers on each hand (removed during childhood)

Grant Wilson-Claridge, DJ with six fingers on each hand.


Fictional characters

Hannibal Lecter, fictional psychopathic psychiatrist created by the author Thomas Harris

The legendary Padeira of Aljubarrota a man-like woman who helped Portuguese soldiers in the Battle of Aljubarrota (1385)

Count Rugen, the six-fingered man in the comic adventure novel The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973), as well as the movie adaptation, directed by Rob Reiner in 1987. His polydactyly had a part in the plot of the story, because he had a special sword crafted to be balanced properly for a six-fingered man to wield.


Sometimes mistakenly said to be polydactyl

Marilyn Monroe is believed by some people to have had six toes on one foot, but this is an urban legend (due to two misinterpreted photographs) and is untrue. See http://marilynmonroepages.com/6toes.html for photographic proof.

David Sedaris is sometimes claimed to have a sixth toe on one of his feet, but in fact does not. The rumour appears to have been started by the owner of an Internet fansite, solely to see if he could successfully spread a rumour.

Ontario premier Mike Harris was the subject of a similar rumour in 1997, after a newspaper obtained a photo of him as a youth in swimming trunks and barefoot, in which he appeared, through the same type of optical illusion as the Marilyn Monroe photographs, to have six toes on one foot. Several days later, he showed his foot to the press to prove that he only had the usual five toes after someone agreed to donate money to charity for showing his foot.

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor is often mistakenly said to have developed the "Maximilian style" of armor, which features widely-flared toes, in order to conceal his polydactyly.


I've also heard that both Winston Churchill and Charles VIII of France were polydactyl.

 

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