Twins Facts
Twins Facts

52 Amazing Twins Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published October 6, 2020
  • There are more than 11 million identical twins alive in the world today.[6]
  • When a twin in the Native American Yoruba tribe dies, the tribe marks their passing with unique rituals.[5]
  • Identical twins, also called monozygotic twins, occur when just one sperm fertilizes just one egg, but then divides into two fetuses. Fraternal twins are born at the same time from two different fertilized eggs, which is why they aren't necessarily identical in appearance or gender.[13]
  • Identical twins Jasmiyah and Tasmiyah Whitehead were nicknamed the "Twisted Twins," after they confessed to the brutal murder of their mother in 2010.[5]
  • Many Native American and African mythologies feature sets of twins who represent opposing forces of good and evil.[5]
  • Greek philosopher Plato wrote about a theory, which he attributed to Aristophanes, that humans were made from conjoined twins that were cut in two by Zeus.[5]
  • Research suggests that when a twin engages in criminal activity, it increases the likelihood that their co-twin will also become a criminal.[5]
  • Cain and Abel
    Perhaps it was about more than just sibling rivalry...
  • In a lesser-known version of the Cain and Abel story, both Cain and Abel had a twin sister; the true motive behind their rivalry was a disagreement over which sister each would marry.[5]
  • Ancient sources say that Rome was founded by Romulus, who chose to build a city upon the site where he and his twin brother, Remus, had been saved from drowning when they were infants.[5]
  • Some people claim that Gram, a search engine that helps users find illegal weapons, documents, and pornography, was created to be Google's "evil twin."[5]
  • According to one study, 52% of identical twins who identify as non-heterosexual share the same sexual orientation as their co-twin, more than twice the percentage among fraternal twins.[5]
  • There are at least two documented cases where a surgical patient's tumor turned out to be a calcified embryo containing hair, teeth, and other body parts—possible evidence that the patient re-absorbed their genetic twin while still in the womb.[5]
  • Before the 1980s, around one in every 58 births was a twin birth. In the past three decades, however, the introduction of new fertility treatments caused this number to rise; in 2014, one in every 29 births was a twin.[10][19]
  • Most aphids are born already pregnant, having absorbed the embryo of their genetic twin while still in their mother's womb.[5]
  • In 2005, a woman gave birth twice when her twins were born two months apart.[5]
  • Studies comparing the IQs of identical twins who were separated at birth have tended to conclude that a person's IQ is determined more by heredity than by environment.[14]
  • Identical twins are much more rare than fraternal twins. Around 3.3% of Americans are twins, but only .3% are identical.[17]
  • Identical Twins Facts
    Identical twins are generally very emotionally close

  • The chances of chimerism, a condition in which one individual possesses two different sets of DNA, are increased as a result of in vitro fertilization due to the possibility of two embryos merging together in the womb.[5][18]
  • A recent mix-up at a fertility clinic, in which a mother was implanted with the genetic material of two different men, resulted in the birth of fraternal twins who have completely different genetic heritages, one African and the other European.[5]
  • After meeting each other at age 39, Jim Springer and Jim Lewis, identical twins who were separated at birth, discovered they shared an incredible number of biographical similarities. For example, they had both served as part-time sheriffs; they drank the same brand of beer and smoked the same brand of cigarettes; and both of them had married a woman named Linda, divorced her, and re-married to a woman named Betty.[14]
  • There are currently no paternity tests that can distinguish between identical twins.[5]
  • "Evil twin hacking" is a term for when a hacker redirects online traffic from a legitimate website to one of their own.[5]
  • Because the Chinese government grants an exception to their one-child policy in the case of twins, some mothers purposely conceive two children in quick succession and then attempt to pass them off as twins.[5]
  • Unbelievable Twins Fact
    The Indian goddess Durga has multiple limbs
  • In India, many revere and even worship as a deity a girl who was born in 2005 with eight limbs, the result of an unborn co-twin's arms and legs being conjoined to her body.[3][5]
  • According to a 2008 report, a married couple in Britain was granted an annulment after they discovered that they were fraternal twins who had been adopted separately at birth.[2][5]
  • In some East-Asian countries, including India and China, it is common for impoverished parents of male-female fraternal twins to seek an abortion of the female fetus in order to avoid having to pay a dowry for her later in life.[5]
  • While most DNA tests only require a few genetic markers in order to correctly identify an individual, it takes several billion markers to distinguish between identical twins—and even then, the tests are not always successful.[5]
  • It is possible for fraternal twins to have two different fathers, if both men fertilized the mother during the same ovulation period.[5]
  • It is possible for fraternal twins to have different racial heritages, either because they have different fathers or simply because they are manifesting different aspects of mixed genes.[5]
  • In the historically based movie Legend, actor Tom Hardy played two different characters: Reggie and Ronnie Kray. The identical twin brothers were real-life gangsters, and they were once referred to as the most evil men in Britain.[15]
  • Conjoined twins are twins born with their bodies fused together at one or more points.[4]
  • Conjoined twins were once called Siamese twins; it was a reference to the name showman P. T. Barnum gave conjoined twins Chang and Eng. The term is now considered derogatory.[11]
  • Conjoined Twins Facts
    Surgically separating conjoined twins is very dangerous and often ends with the death of one or both twins

  • Around 1 in 200,000 live births are of conjoined twins. Females make up approximately 20% of conjoined twins.[4]
  • In a 1929 case involving conjoined twins, a judge ruled against incarceration on the grounds that because only one of the twins was considered to have acted criminally, it would be unjust to force the other twin to suffer the same punishment.[5]
  • Scientific researchers first began studying twins in the 1870s, in the hope of identifying which personal traits are the result of heredity versus those due to environmental factors.[14]
  • There were 123,536 twins born in the United States in the year 2018.[16]
  • Twins and triplets have a slightly higher chance of being left-handed than the general population.[17]
  • Although most family lines only ever produce one set of identical twins, one family in Brazil has produced 22 sets of identical twins across five generations.[8]
  • There have been at least nine verified cases of twins being accidentally separated at birth due to hospital staff unintentionally switching one of the twins with an unrelated infant.[8]
  • Mother with Quadruplets
    Instant family
  • Mothers in their 30s are more than twice as likely to give birth to twins as their younger counterparts; mothers in their 40s are three times as likely.[10]
  • "Super twins" is another name for multiples of more than two, such as triplets or octuplets.[6]
  • Every year, over four thousand twins travel to Twinsburg, Ohio, to attend the Twins Days Festival.[6]
  • Scientists believe that identical twins, which occur when two fetuses separate, are rare among animals other than humans because identical twins share a single placenta, making it unlikely they will get enough nutrients to survive.[9]
  • In 2016, two women in Ireland took DNA tests to discover if their nearly-identical appearances meant they were siblings that had been separated at birth. They discovered they didn't even share a common ancestral line, making them real-life doppelgangers.[20]
  • One popular piece of fake news claimed that astronaut Scott Kelly's DNA no longer matches that of his identical twin brother as a result of the time Scott spent on the International Space Station.[8]
  • In the 1930s, both New York and New Jersey denied conjoined twin Violet Hilton a marriage license, on the grounds that, since she was already "joined" to her co-twin, Daisy, allowing her to marry anyone else would constitute bigamy.[5]
  • The first set of confirmed identical twin puppies was reported in 2016. Because dogs are not often subjected to genetic tests, scientists are unsure whether identical twins is a common occurrence.[9]
  • There have been several reported cases of identify theft in which a twin has used their indistinguishable appearance to steal the identity of their co-twin.[5]
  • Twins Identity Theft
    Sometimes it's who you least suspect

  • The nine-banded armadillo regularly gives birth to identical quadruplets, the only known species to do so.[9]
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are the first set of twins to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[1]
  • High-wire walker Phillipe Petit took advantage of the identical heights of New York's Twin Towers when, in 1974, he walked a 140-foot wire strung between them.[12]
  • While doing research on identical twins in 2012, doctors recorded footage from an MRI showing one fetus kicking at their twin in an apparent bid to gain more legroom.[7]
  • Interesting Twins INFOGRAPHIC
    Twins Infographic Thumbnail

Suggested for you


Trending Now

Load More