Can you imagine the wonderful world of twins? Growing up in the womb together, reaching out to each other, forming an intrauterine bond, it’s simply magical! Twins have been a source of fascination for parents, the scientific community, and the entire world. Countless studies have analysed their behaviour and lifestyles. Take a look below for 30 interesting and fun facts about twins.
1. Twins are two children born of the same pregnancy. Identical twins come from one fertilized egg that splits in two to form two babies who have the same genetic makeup.
2. Fraternal twins come from two separate fertilized eggs and are as alike as two siblings born at different times.
3. There are more than just fraternal and identical twins, other rare twin types include “half identical twins” (when the egg splits and then each half is fertilized) and mirror-image twins.
4. Mirror twins are born with birthmarks on opposite sides of the body from each other, opposite dominant hands, and occasionally, reversed organs.
5. The first twin’s reference was in the bible, Jacob and Esau, fraternal twins born to Isaac and Rebekah.
6. According to Greek mythology, the constellation Gemini, meaning Twins in Latin, is the immortal form of twins Castor and Pollux.
7. A report from the Center for Disease Control, states that the birth rate for twins has increased by 76% since 1980.
8. According to a study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine women who consume dairy products may increase their chances of conceiving twins.
9. Researchers in Holland have discovered that the older a woman is when she gets pregnant, the more likely she is to have twins.
10. You’ve heard the phrase “It runs in the family”. Since genes are passed on to family members, it’s both possible and even likely that a twin will give birth to twins.
11. Twins can have different fathers, a rare but possible phenomenon.
12. An estimated 1 in 8 pregnancies begins with twins with only 1 in 70 actually producing twins, because of the “Vanishing Twin Syndrome” where one of the babies doesn’t survive.
13. A popular myth surrounding twins is that they have some kind of ESP or special telepathic ability that allows them to read each other’s minds.
14. On the surface, identical twins can be nearly impossible to tell apart, but if you want to know which twin is which, check their belly buttons or their fingerprints.
15. Are twins always born on the same day? There are instances of twins being born before midnight one day and after midnight the next. In 2011 when a couple decided to freeze their embryos and implant them a few years after their first successful in vitro fertilization, the biological “twin” of their five-year-old son was born.
16. In a “one in a million” occurrence, twin sisters in Georgia each gave birth to twin boys on the same day back in 2004.
17. In 2016, a study conducted by the University of Washington indicated that twins had a longer lifespan than others.
18. The oldest twins ever recorded were Kin Narita and Gin Kanie whose names translate to gold and silver. They lived to be 107 and 108 years old.
19. Mothers who give birth to twins are stronger and healthier and are likely to live longer than mothers of singletons.
20. The average time between delivering the first and second twin is 17 minutes.
21. Twins start interacting in the womb at 14 weeks.
22. Research from the Institute of General Linguistics has found that up to 40% of twins develop their own private language that only they can understand.
23. Although left-handedness only occurs in about 10% of the population, about 17% of twins are born left-handed.
24. People often forget that despite sharing common DNA, twins, even identical ones, are still individuals.
25. One of the “perks” of being an identical twin is the fun of occasionally switching places with one another.
26. One common myth about twins is that they skip a generation, but this isn’t entirely true. If a woman gives birth to twins of either sex, the twin gene will be passed along to her children.
27. When identical twins marry identical twins, it’s called a quaternary marriage.
28. A 2018 NASA study revealed that when astronaut Scott Kelly returned to Earth after spending a year on the International Space Station, he and his identical twin Mark Kelly were no longer genetically identical.
29. James Lewis and James Springer, born in 1940, were separated and adopted at three weeks old to different families, never knowing the other existed. When the men finally met in 1979, they discovered that they’d led virtually identical lives—right down to their names and the cars they drove.
30. A jewel thief managed to steal $6.8 million worth of jewellery from a luxury department store in Germany in 2009. DNA scans revealed that the robbery was committed by an identical twin, but the courts weren’t able to figure out which of them it was and were forced to let them go.