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Scientists have been left scratching their heads with both hands, after research showed the number of left-handed people in the population has almost quadrupled over the last 100 years.

According to The Telegraph, the proportion of folks fiddling with standard corkscrews and taking their lives in their hands by using right-handed scissors has increased to 11 per cent, compared to three per cent a century ago.

The findings were made in a massive study of antique film footage by researchers from University College London (UCL).

Apparently when you pointed a camera at the Edwardians they would politely wave, before breaking into spontaneous clog dancing or a rousing chorus of "Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer Do", before marching off somewhere hot to extend the British Empire.

This means the academics only had to count the number of people waving with their left hand as opposed to their right to get a grip on the number of lefties.

What has left them puzzled is the disparity with the proportion of lefties out there today, struggling with right-handed golf clubs, musical instruments, and let's face it, underwear.

The conclusion is that it is largely down to schooling. Whereas the left-handed Victorian and Edwardian school child would have been soundly thrashed before having his left hand nailed to the desk, today's kids are free to use any hand they want, teachers being pleased they've decided to turn up at all.

Sadly, the research doesn't appear to have cropped up on UCL's website yet. In the meantime, if you want a left-handed keyboard or mouse, check out this. ®

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