Fun and Surprising Facts About Ambidextrous People

Most of us are either right- or left-handed, and when you try to write or use the spoon with the opposite hand, it’s usually a real puzzle to do it well. However, that’s not the case for ambidextrous people! Ambidextrous folks are those who can use their right or left hands interchangeably. They can use cutlery or write with both hands without much difficulty. However, this ability does not only affect the hands! In sport, ambidextrous footballers are highly valued for their ability to use both legs. Only a small part of the population can use both hands with the same strength… But, where does this ability come from, and why doesn’t everyone have it? Keep reading and learn everything about this remarkable ability!


How many ambidextrous are there in the world?

Those who are truly ambidextrous, not the people who have forced themselves to learn to write with both hands, are only 1% of the world’s population. Therefore, only one in 100 people have the innate ability to use both hands. However, some lefties can use their non-dominant hand just as well as their dominant hand.


What hand do ambidextrous people use?

The rarest form of ambidextrousness occurs in people who can use both hands with the same degree of strength and skill all the time. These people do not have a dominant hand and, they practically use both without realizing which one they are using. In contrast, some ambidextrous ones do not have a dominant hand and use both, but neither is very strong. In any case, most ambidextrous tend to use one side, and it is usually the right side to write. It is also common for them to use the right hand for others and the left for others.


Why are some people ambidextrous?

To understand it, you have to know how the brain works. Each side of the brain controls the opposite side of the body. This is the case in right-handed people, but left-handed and ambidextrous people are particular. In ambidextrous and left-handedness, the right and left sides of the brain tend to be quite symmetrical, whereas, in right-handed people, the brain’s dominant side is the left (the left side of the brain controls the right hand).


This particularity that unites left-handed and ambidextrous makes many ambidextrous people born left-handed. But since lefties have been stigmatized for centuries and considered demonic, they were forced to use their right hands. That is why many lefties ended up developing ambidextrousness.


Can people become ambidextrous?

After injuring an arm or hand and having it disabled for a long time, some people had no choice but to learn to use the opposite hand to perform their routine tasks. This situation made them gain skill and strength with the other hand, and they ended up having the ability to use both hands interchangeably.


What is the origin of ambidextrousness?

It is not known for sure why this particularity, although some studies have tried to shed light. In particular, researchers at the University of St. Andrews, Bristol, and the Max Plank Institute in Nijmegen, in the Netherlands, reveal that the preference for using the right or left hand has its origin PCSK6 gene. Therefore, this particularity occurs in the embryonic phase of a person’s development. However, they also affirmed that it could not be due only to a genetic issue, but environmental and educational factors also intervene.


Is there ambidexterity in other animal species?

In reality, humans are the only species that shows a preference for using one of their hands. Among the animal kingdom, this characteristic does not occur.


Is there a difference between ambidextrous and right-handed?

In addition to using one or both hands, some studies show that ambidextrous perform worse on intelligence tests. In a Finnish study involving 8,000 seven- and eight-year-olds, 87 were ambidextrous, 90% had trouble on math and language tests.


Are ADHD and ambidexterity related?

This same Finnish study revealed that left-handed and ambidextrous teens were twice as likely as right-handed teens to show signs of ADHD. Specifically, of the ADHD adolescents who participated in the study, ambidextrous showed more pronounced symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity.


What famous ambidextrous people are known?

  • Leonardo da Vinci, inventor, painter, sculptor, inventor, and architect, was ambidextrous.
  • Luke Jensen, a former American tennis player, was nicknamed “Double-handed Luke.”
  • Benny Hill, a well-known British comedian.
  • David Lee, an American basketball player for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, was left-handed and became ambidextrous after breaking an arm in college.
  • Wesley Sneijder, a Dutch footballer.
  • Chris Martin singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist, leader of the band Coldplay.
  • Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) was a baseball player, excellent two-handed hitter.


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