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32 Cool And Amazing Facts About Left Handed People

32 Cool and Amazing Facts about Left Handed People

Did you know that nearly 10 to 12% of the world population is left-handed? Did you know that left handed people tend to be more independent, creative, adaptive and flexible because of facing the world that is largely designed for right-handed people? Read some more facts about left handed people.

Scientists are not really sure of the exact reason behind people being left handed but research points to a complex collaboration of genetics and environment that can lead to some people being lefties.

Let’s find out some other really cool and unique facts about Left handed people:

Facts Left Handed People infographics

1) Their right part of the brain is dominant.

The left side of the brain is logical and analytical and the right side of the brain is creative and emotional. The right part of the brain is more dominant in the left handed people and therefore they tend to be more creative and artistic in their disposition.

Read : Left Brain Vs. Right Brain: Some Eye Opening Insights

2) They are pro at multitasking.

Lefties tend to be more independent and flexible as they learn to adapt to the world largely made for the right-handers.

In 2008,  Illinois Research Consortium collected a large data and found that when given two tasks to complete simultaneously, lefties performed better than righties. Lefthanders consider the whole problem  and use pattern matching to try and solve. On the other hand, the righthanders try to solve the problem breaking them down into parts and analysing each piece one at a time.

In one study by Dr. Nick Cherbuin, left handed people seem to talk while driving, pilot jet fighters and play fast-paced video games. According to the researcher, this is associated with conversations between the left and right sides of the brain happening more quickly in left-handed people when compared with their right-handed peers.

3) They have a creative streak but they aren’t more creative than right-handed people.

Psychologists suggest that living in a world designed for right-handed people makes lefties come up with independent thinking and creative solutions. Also, the right part of the brain that deals in creativity and expressing emotions is more dominant in the lefties that give them a creative streak.

A 2007 study claims that  painters and musicians were more likely to be left handers. In fact, a lot of famous artists and celebrities like Leonardo Da Vinci, Julia Roberts, Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Eminem, Justin Beiber, Angelina Jolie, Jim Carrey, Lady Gaga are lefties.

Professor Mike Nicholls – who is himself left-handed – studied 5,000 five-year-olds and examined their performance at school and their feedback from teachers concluded that “Left-handers tend to do worse as a group than right-handers.” According to him, reduced cognitive ability of lefties was small but similar to the “negative outcomes” of being born prematurely.

4) The genes inherited by people account for just 25% of the chance of being left-handed

There is only 25% chance of being left-handed through inherited genes. So, even twins with 100% identical genes don’t necessarily have same handedness.

In a study by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, more than 50,000 identical twins were observed and analyzed. Researchers found that inherited genes only account for a 25% chances of being a left-handed person. The other 75% is attributed to environmental factors

5) Left-handed athletes have an advantage over their opponents.

left handed atheletes

Be it golf, tennis, swimming or boxing they excel everywhere. Golf champ Phil Mickelson, Tennis rockstar Roger Federer, boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya are all lefties. In fact, almost 40% of the top tennis players are lefties.

According to MSNBC review of an interesting book The puzzle of left-handedness by Rik Smits, left-handers may have an advantage in games involving two opponents facing each other like boxing or tennis because they get more opportunities to practice against right-handed opponents than vice versa since righties are so much more in number.

6) They can see underwater better than right-handers.

According to neurologists lefties seem to adjust to underwater vision more readily than righties. However, there is a lack of sufficient scientifica evidence to back this fact. 

7) They hit the puberty late.

Lefties tend to reach puberty 4-5 months later than righties. This is why male left-handers seem to have a trouble growing beard. However, there is no strong research evdidence to back this fact. 

8) They are more likely to suffer from insomnia.

Left-handers are more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation due to  Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD). It spoils the quality of their slumber as they tend to move their limbs involuntarily during sleep. This is why they kick people in their bed. According to one study, 69% of right-handed participants had bilateral limb movements compared to 94% of left handed patients! 

Read : Did You Know? Top 20 Most Amazing Facts

9) Animals too have left handedness.

Research says left-handedness is not just restricted to human species, but seen in animals as well. Around 50%  of cats and rats are left-handed, according to research. Veterinarian Janice Lloyd told ABC Australia that in her research, she found nearly 50% of dogs favoured their left paw.

10) 10-12% percent of the world’s population is left-handed.

The percentage of lefties across the world is slowly growing. Do you know there are 30 million left-handers in the U.S.? On average 10-12% of the world is left handed while 87% is right-handed. Scientists suspect that more people are born as lefties and then convert as righties later in life. 

Professor Daniel M. Abrams and graduate student Mark J. Panaggio at Northwestern University created a model that shows the low percentage of lefties is due to the balance between cooperation and competition in human evolution.

“The more social the animal—where cooperation is highly valued—the more the general population will trend toward one side,” says Abrams, an assistant professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“The most important factor for an efficient society is a high degree of cooperation. In humans, this has resulted in a right-handed majority.” On the other hand, competition does the complete opposite and resulted in 10% of the people turning lefties.

11) Every August 13th has been celebrated as “Left-Handers Day” since 1996.

The UK based Left-Handers Club launched 13th August as the International Left-Handers Day in 1996 to increase awareness about the left-handed lifestyle.

Their website marks this as a day “when left-handers everywhere can celebrate their sinistrality and increase public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left handed.” The day is celebrated with events since lefties make up only about seven to 10% of the world’s population. These events include celebrating a left-hander’s creativity, adaptability, and athleticism.

Read : Which side of your brain is more dominant according to colors ? – MIND GAME

12) Some of the noteworthy political leaders in history are lefties.

Obama - left handed

Out of the last seven US presidents, 4 have been left handed. President Obama, Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Gerald Ford, as well as few Presidents in the past like James Garfield and Harry Truman, are also left handed. So, lefties are highly likely to be great leaders!

13) Their average salary is 9-19% lower than the right-handed people.

32 Cool And Amazing Facts About Left Handed People

Statistics show that Left handed college graduates go on to become around 26% richer than their right-handed counterparts. A lot of royals are left handed too! Lefties in the British royal family include the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, and Prince William. 

However, a 2014 Harvard study revealed that the average salary of lefties is nine to 19 per cent lower than for right-handed people. The left-handed participants scored lower than righties on cognitive tests, and are more likely to have emotional and behavioural problems. Aside of that lefties tend to suffer from learning disabilities at a higher rate and complete less schooling. Altogether it lowers their ability to earn more than their right-handed peers.

14) They are better at 3D perception and thinking.

As mentioned earlier, the human brain is cross-wired meaning the left hemisphere controls the right-handed side of the body and vice-versa. So left-handers can boast they are always in their right mind. Because their right hemisphere of the brain dominant, which controls music, art, creativity, perception, emotions, and genius.

So left-handers are more likely to be creative and visual thinkers, better at 3D perception and thinking. This explains why there are more left-handed architects than righties.

Read : What You See First In This Image Reveals Your Mind Power: Quiz

15) 40% of schizophrenics are surprisingly left-handed.

Yale University researches concluded that around 40 per cent of schizophrenic patients were left-handed, with theories suggesting that brain laterality plays a role. This is one of the most uncool facts about left handed people.

16) They are also likely to get easily embarrassed.

According to research done by scientists from Abertay University in Scotland, lefties tend to feel more shy, inhibited, critical self-observers as compared to their right-handed counterparts.

17) There are more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed people.

Some of the most influential and genius people that have walked on this planet like Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Benjamin Franklin were all lefties.

Also, according to research conducted at Lawrence University in New York, there were more left-handed people over IQs of 140 than right-handed people. Lefties tend to be smarter and have higher IQs than their right-handed counterparts. 

An interesting left-handed statistic is that Mensa claims that 20% of its members are lefties. 

18) Mothers over 40 are likely to give birth to a left-handed child.

Women giving birth after 40 or giving birth to twins have more chances of having a left-handed child, when compared to younger mothers. 

According to one study, New England researchers found that in a group of 2,228 college students, those with mothers who birthed them after age 40 were twice as likely to be left-handed. Because of their advanced age, these women have tougher pregnancy, and hence more stress. Birth stress is directly linked to left-handedness.

Twins are more likely to be left-handed according to a Belgian study conducted in 1966. Out of 21% of 1700 pairs of twins were left-handed — that’s just over 5% more than the general population.

19) Premature babies have a high possibility of becoming lefties.

premature babies

Babies born prematurely who weigh a pound or less at birth, have a high possibility of becoming lefties. In a study of 115 babies who are were being treated in a neonatal intensive care unit, found that 54% of the extreme preemies were left-handed. 

The doctors said either it is due to slight brain damage caused by premature birth or it could be because premature babies couldn’t complete full brain development process that would result in most of them being right-handed.

20) They can easily learn to use their right hand during an emergency.

Lefties can easily learn to use their right hand if they injure the left one. Tennis champion Rafael Nadal is actually right-handed but learned to play lefty to gain a competitive edge. 

Smart. isn’t it? 

21) They are among Apollo astronauts and Apple’s Macintosh designers.

Seven of the 29 astronauts on the Apollo space mission were lefties. Not sure, if they took their first giant leap for a man using their left foot.

Four of the five designers of Apple’s Macintosh computer were left-handed. As mentioned earlier, lefties have different brain structure and they have a creative streak making them better designers than righties. 

22) Men are more likely to be left-handed than women.

Gender differences influence left-handedness! One 2008 study compiled data from 144 studies involving 2 million participants and found that 23% more men are left-handed. Considering the results to be statistically relevant, left-handers are more likely to be male.

23) They fear more than the right-handed people.

The brains of lefties process emotions differently than those of right-handed people. Lefties are more susceptible to negative emotions, such as fear and anger. Thys, lefties are affected by fear far more than those who are right-handed.

In a horror movie experiment, left-handers who watched an eight-minute clip from The Silence of the Lambs showed more fear than right-handers. The right side of the brain is more dominant in lefties and is more involved in fear responses.

Read : A Male Brain V/s A Female Brain -10 Interesting Differences

24. They have a significantly bad temper than right-handed people

This is due to increased interaction between the two halves of the brain according to the study published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. The research explains that the logic (mostly left brain) and emotions (mostly right brain) get mixed together often resulting in situations of bad temper.

25) Homosexuals are 39% more likely to be left-handed.

According to a 2000 study, left handed people are 39 per cent more likely to be homosexual. The authors assume that the three factors responsible for the relationship between handedness and sexual orientation are cerebral laterality and prenatal exposure to sex hormones, maternal immunological reactions to the fetus, and developmental instability. Another 2013 study found that asexual participants were roughly 2.5 times more likely to be left handed!

26) There is a phobia associated with left-handedness.

Yes you read it right! Your lucky left hand may scare some people. 

Sinistrophobia is defined as the fear of things at the left side or left-handed people.

This is one of the most bizarre facts about left-handed people.

Read : 100+ Types Of Common, Unique and Bizarre Phobias

27) They find some simple tasks hard to do it.

Swiping credit cards and cutting with right-handed scissors are two things that are harder for lefties than righties. Other little obstacles include – car cup holders that are always on the right-hand side, a camera with more buttons on the right side, pens at the bank are always attached on the right side and flaps covering zippers on pants etc. 

Since lefties constitute only 12% of the world population, they are not taken into consideration, while building gadgets and other tools. 

Ned Flanders’s shop recognized the plight of left handed people and started a shop named The Leftorium in the Springfield Mall that specializes in products for left-handed people. It was a big relief for many lefties. But you can get special lefty-made notebooks, scissors, and more in real life. Left-handed pens are now a new cool!

28) They recover from strokes faster than righties.

Left hemisphere of the brain is more dominant in righties and this side is associated with language function. So,  a stroke or a brain injury which occur on the left side of the brain affects speech and language. 

While 95% of right-handed people have left-brain dominance when it comes to language control, whereas this drops to 70% for lefties. This means that after a stroke, lefties whose right hemisphere of the brain is dominant are more likely to be faster to recover language ability. This is the plus point for all lefties.

29) They have typing advantages.

Lefties have a record of typing the longest words. The longest words typed by conventional left-hand placement are “sweaterdresses” and “tesseradecades”. 

On a QWERTY keyboard, you can type 3000 words with left hand alone but only 300 words with  right hand alone. 

30) They are prone to diseases.

According to a study published on the Harvard University Press, left-handers were 11 times more likely to suffer from allergies than the right-handed folks. The results also showed that lefties are two and a half times higher risk of suffering from auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. They are also twice as likely to experience migraines when compared to right-handers.

31. Every year, more than 2,500 left-handed people are killed around the world

32 Cool And Amazing Facts About Left Handed People
Image source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Statistical reports showed that one in 4,400,000 is killed every year from using equipment which is meant for right-handed people, and this accounts for more than 2,500 deaths of left-handed people every year. That is 10.3% of left-handed people (both males and females) suffer an injury while driving a vehicle, and 31.6% of left-handed people (both males and females) get injured in sports. And the most dangerous item is the right-handed power saw.

Some studies conducted later found that lefties live around nine years less than their right-handed counterparts. It can be due to their vulnerability to different health issues. However, a 2001 study suggested lefties tend to die three years younger than righties although extremely left-handed people have a life expectancy that is just one year lower.

32) They like to booze more.

According to one 1973 study higher than expected number of patients in alcoholism ward, was left-handed. Lefties are more likely to be alcoholics than the right-handed people. However, a more recent study suggests that lefties are more prone to drink at moderate levels. 

These are some cool and interesting facts about left handed people. If you are a lefty and could relate to the facts then leave a comment below. And if you want to add more, feel free to do so.


References:

  • Masud, Y. and Ajmal, M.A., 2012. Left-handed people in a right-handed world: A phenomenological study. Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology10(1), pp.49-60.
  • Llaurens, V., Raymond, M. and Faurie, C., 2009. Why are some people left-handed? An evolutionary perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences364(1519), pp.881-894.
  • Meng, L.F., 2007. The rate of handedness conversion and related factors in left-handed children. Laterality12(2), pp.131-138.
  • Altman, D. and Bland, M., 2005. Do the left‐handed die young?. Significance2(4), pp.166-170.
  • Hagemann, N., 2009. The advantage of being left-handed in interactive sports. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics71(7), pp.1641-1648.
  • Flatt, A.E., 2008, July. Is being left-handed a handicap? The short and useless answer is “yes and no.”. In Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings (Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 304-307). Taylor & Francis.

24 Cool Facts about Left Handed People
24 Cool Facts about Left Handed People
32 Cool And Amazing Facts About Left Handed People

Shweta Advani

An HR consultant by profession, a slam poet and freelance writer.Avid reader,dancer and yoga enthusiast. When I am not reading or writing, I star gaze or take long walks in nature.View Author posts

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