10 Strange Facts About Twins

10 Strange Facts About Twins 10) Telepathic Thoughts Telepathy is no longer a power confined to the comic book universe The brains of conjoined twins Krista and Tatiana Hogan are so intertwined that the girls can read each other’s minds

The Hogan twins are attached at the head by the thalamus, the part of the brain that controls physical sensations and motor functions This means that both twins can control each other’s limbs, and if one of them is tickled then the other twin will squirm in reaction The shared senses don’t end there either; they can see from each other’s eyes and both taste the food that only one of them has eaten Their family even claim that the twins can communicate with each other inside their own heads, plotting mischief or sharing a joke, without even opening their mouths 9) Double Dads In a case that would shock even Maury [morry], it was discovered that twins can be born with two different dads

Known as heteropaternal superfecundation, these twins can occur if a woman produces two eggs within a few days and then has sex with multiple men within the week, allowing sperm from different men to fertilize her eggs This type of fertilization can also happen when a woman undergoes fertility treatments In 1993 a Dutch couple underwent IVF, but due to a mix up in the laboratory, another man’s sperm was mixed with the intended father’s The couple’s children, Koen and Teun Stuart, despite being twins, have different ethnicities due to having different dads While less than 1% of fraternal twins have been reported to be from different fathers, the true number is unknown, due to parents not always being aware of their twin’s different parentage, or unwilling to announce it

8) Black or White Twins with different skin colors aren’t just cooked up in a test tube, though In fact, if a genetically mixed race person and a white person have non-identical twins, there is as much as a 1/500 chance that the twins will have different skin colors In 2015 non-identical twins Maria and Lucy made headlines for being ‘black and white’ twins, due to Lucy’s fair skin and red hair and Maria’s dark skin and black features Their difference in skin color is explained by their white dad and half Jamaican mum’s mixed heritage, which contained the genetic codes for both black and white physical features Although their mum Donna has darker skin, by chance she passed on the genetic codes for white skin to their daughter Lucy

As rare as black and white non-identical twins are, even rarer are twins Amelia and Jasmine, who are thought to be the first genetically identical black and white twins born in the UK Despite sharing identical genetic make up, the twins were born with different skin and eye colors, thought to have developed after their zygote split, forming their two individual embryos 7) Days Apart By their very nature, twins have a reputation for being born on the same day, however this isn’t always the case, with some twins being born days apart, or even in separate years For example, twins Hannah and Danielle Reed, despite only being born a minute apart, found themselves being born on different days, in different years One twin was delivered by C-section as the last baby of 2013, while the second twin was the first baby of 2014

And in the case of twins Amy and Katie Elliott, the premature birth of Amy meant that she was born 87 days apart from her twin Katie While Amy continued to develop in an incubator post-birth, Katie continued her term in her mother’s womb In 2013 the girls won the Guinness World Record as the 'longest interval between the birth of twins' 6) Nature or Nurture In 1979 the Minnesota Twin Registry began a study, which looked at twins who were separated at birth and raised in different families The study attempted to discover whether nature or nurture ultimately determines personality

Results found that identical twins brought up away from each other had an equal chance of being similar to each other in terms of personality, interests, and attitudes, as if they had been raised together, which suggests that nurture is largely irrelevant Despite only sharing DNA, the researchers found that these separated twins showed a close correlation between their social, political, and even religious beliefs The most famous twins in the study were dubbed the ‘Jim Twins’ Despite being adopted by different people at 4 weeks old, they were both independently named James At age 39 they were reunited, only to discover that they were both married to women named Betty, after having divorced women named Linda

They’d both named their first sons James Allan, had owned pet dogs named ‘Toy’, and both worked in law enforcement 5) Same but different While some twins will live their lives as if they are two versions of the same person, a significant amount of identical twins develop markedly different personalities and health issues Research has shown that identical twins, despite sharing genes and an environment, will rarely die of the same diseases Therefore twin studies are seen as instrumental in identifying the genetic and environmental roots of diseases In one study at the University of Alabama, geneticists observed one twin whose chromosomes indicated a risk of leukemia, which he suffered from, although his twin was cancer free

The differences between the twins’ genetic information is thought to have been affected by the environment; this mechanism is known as epigenetics The study of epigenetics is useful in order to identify the specific genetic regions that coincide with specific diseases The study also found that the genetic differences between identical twins increase as they age, leaving scientists to ask: how identical are identical twins? 4) Town of Twins The Brazilian town of Cândido Godói has fascinated conspiracy theorists and scientists for decades, after it was noted that the town had a twin birth rate nearly 1,000% higher than the global average Just 350 people make up the town and yet 10% of the population are twins In 2008 an Argentinian journalist suggested that the high twin birth rate was due to Frankenstein-like experiments by the Auschwitz doctor, Josef Mengele, who was infamous for his twisted studies on twins

But historical birth certificates show that the high twin population has existed in the area since the 1930s, before Mengele had arrived in South America Furthermore, a 2009 study on the town’s residents found that a specific gene appears in those mothers in Cândido Godói who have had twins It is thought that this gene was passed on to such a large portion of the town’s population due to inbreeding among the original population, which had migrated to Brazil from Germany 3) Twin Talk Next time you hear a baby slurring ‘goo goo, gaa gaa’, they may actually be speaking a secret language Cryptophasia is the phenomenon that means twins are able to create their own simplified language, that only they understand, made up of mispronounced words and private references

The skill is thought to come about as twins are likely to spend a lot of time together and learn and develop at the same pace However, having discovered this fascinating skill, scientists are worried that cryptophasia can also be a symptom of delayed language learning As twins with their own language can easily communicate with each other, they are thought to have less incentive to learn their mother tongue In 1980s England, June and Jennifer Gibbons made headlines after being dubbed ‘the Silent Twins’ Having committed a spree of crimes, they spent 14 years sectioned in a psychiatric hospital

They were sectioned rather than imprisoned, due to the fact that they had spent their childhood and teenage years predominantly communicating with each other in their own invented language 2) I do, I do Seeing double? There are a mind-boggling 250 marriages on record documenting pairs of identical twins that have married another pair of identical twins These are known as quaternary marriages, and the resulting offspring of such couples, while they would legally be considered cousins, would actually share the genetic closeness of full siblings This is because identical twins are genetic clones of each other Furthermore, it would be almost impossible – judging by DNA alone – to figure out which identical couple were the parents of any children produced in a quaternary marriage

The genetic closeness of identical twins became an issue in 2004, when the joint sexual partner of twin brothers Raymon and Richard Miller, fell pregnant Both twins denied paternity of the resultant child, but DNA tests gave both brothers a 999% probability of being the dad As there was no biological way to determine the father, the courts took the word of the child’s mother and Raymon was named the legal father of the child 1) Unborn Uncle If you sometimes worry that you don’t know who you really are, spare a thought for the man who actually failed a paternity test because his sperm’s genetic material actually belonged to his unborn twin

This rare genetic quirk was discovered after a couple underwent fertility treatment to conceive a baby boy When the baby was born, its blood type didn’t match with his parents It wasn’t until a powerful genetic analysis was taken that it was determined that the child’s biological father was actually his dad’s unborn twin It turned out that the dad had absorbed some of his non-identical twin’s cells in the womb, meaning that genetically he was a blend of himself and his own twin Vanishing twin syndrome, where one twin is absorbed into the other, occurs in around 20 – 30% of pregnancies with multiple births

But what made this case so unusual was that some of the twin’s genetic material had developed into sperm, which allowed the unborn twin’s genetic material to be passed on

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