Science project

Forensic Iodine Fuming


  • Iodine crystals
  • Small, clear plastic container with lid
  • Small piece of white paper


  1. Cut a small piece of paper approximately 4”x4”.
  2. Run your fingers through your hair or across your forehead.
  3. Use that same hand to deposit fingerprints on the paper.
  4. Don’t worry if you can’t see the fingerprints!
  5. Place the paper inside the plastic container.
  6. Sprinkle 4-5 crystals of iodine in the bottom of the container and then close the lid.
  7. Hold the small container in your hand to add some heat to the experiment.
  8. You will begin to see the violet-colored fumes starting to appear.
  9. After several minutes the iodine fumes will adhere to the amino acids in your fingerprint secretions, leaving clear, brown fingerprints that were not previously visible.
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