Stick your pinkies out and raise your glasses for a toast to the fifth finger. Without it, your hand would be half as strong.
“You’d lose 50 percent of your hand strength, easily,” Laurie Rogers, a certified hand therapist in Washington, told the New York Times. The pinkie finger and the the ring finger act as a power bottom, while the index finger, middle finger, and thumb provide all the dexterity.
It’s easy to take the humble pinkie for granted. It’s generally left out when you eat, write, and hold small objects. But a study in 2010 done by researchers at the University of Western Ontario found that losing your pinkie on your dominant hand would be detrimental. The study took into account both the hands of 25 men and 25 women. While not enough data to be conclusive, it did find that losing both your pinkie and your ring finger (the ulnar two digits) can reduce grip strength by as much as 67 percent.
Take some time out of your day to think about and thank your pinkie. Life would be much more difficult without it.