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A compact subset E of the complex plane is called removable if all bounded analytic functions on its complement are constant or, equivalently, i f its analytic capacity vanishes. The problem of finding a geometric characterization of the removable sets is more than a hundred years old and still not comp letely solved.

Tangent measure distributions are a natural tool to describe the local geometry of arbitrary measures of any dimension. We show that for every measure on a Euclidean space and every s, at almost every point, all s-dimensional tangent measure distributions define statistically self-similar random measures. Consequently, the local geometry of general measures is not different from the local geometry of self-similar sets. We illustrate the strength of this result by showing how it can be used to improve recently proved relations between ordinary and average densities.