Do you know any twins? Or are you a twin yourself? Even if you are, we bet there are some facts you didn’t know about them! Although genetics and medical research are advancing everyday, there are still many things we don’t know. In fact, twins are at the forefront of this advancement thanks to their similar genes. These are 25 strange facts about twins you might not know!
Since 1980 the birthrate for twins has increased by over 70%!
Women in their thirties are more likely to have twins than women in their twenties. In fact, because women aren't having children until they are older, this may be contributing to the increase in twins.
More than half of twins are born with a low birthweight, which can contribute to long term health problems like asthma.
Having twins isn't always good for the mother either. Risks for things like gestational hypertension are higher.
There is a twin gene! But only for fraternal twins (two separate eggs). There isn't any gene that contributes to the formation of identical twins (one single egg).
Due to techniques like in vitro fertilization, twins can be born years apart! (The parents keep some of the embryos frozen.)
Twins can have different fathers! Known as heteropaternal superfecundation, this basically means that the mother had two ova fertilized by two different men.
It is rare, however, for twins to have different fathers as a result of intercourse. Sperm stay in the female for several days while the egg remains viable for up to 48 hours. The fertile period for such an event would thus be very short.
In vitro fertilization makes heteropaternal superfecundation more common. A Dutch couple, Wilma and Willem Stuart were surprised to find that one of their twins was white and the other black. Apparently another man's sperm had been accidentally mixed with Mr. Stuart's.
Cryptophasia is a language created by young twins that only they understand. Often it includes mannerisms and physical motions as well. To outsiders, it sounds like gibberish.
Researchers at the University of Padova in Italy found that twins begin bonding with each other in the mother's womb as early as 14 weeks old!
There is actually a twin inducing diet. While not tested, it has been found that non-vegans are 5 times more likely to have twins. Also, some doctors believe consuming diary products may increase "twin having" potential.
Women who are breastfeeding when they are pregnant are 9 times more likely to have twins!
Cândido Godói, Brazil is the twin capital of the world. While 8% of births here are twins, in the rest of Brazil the number is only 1%. Researchers believe that due to inbreeding among villagers of German decent, the twin gene has run rampant.
In 2010, Baker High School in Baldwinsville, New York broke the world record when it had 12 sets of twins graduate at the same time.
Due to different diets and lifestyles, identical twins will actually start to look less and less like each other over time.
In 2010, British sisters Ena Pugh and Lily Millward were named the world's oldest twins with a combined age of 104. However, they lost the title after it was found that Scottish sisters Edith Ritchie and Evelyn Middleton were two months older.
You've probably never heard of Hunter Johansson, Michael Kutcher, or Patricia Bundchen. But you probably know their famous fraternal twins Scarlett, Ashton, and Gisele!
Although identical twins have nearly the same DNA (twins may have differences at the epigenetic level), they have different fingerprints.
22% of twins are left handed compared with only 10% of singletons
15% to 20% of all twin pregnancies will miscarry one fetus. This is known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome.
Nigeria has the highest rate of twin births while China has the lowest.
Moms of twins live longer than moms of without twins
The twin that is lower in the womb is known as Baby A, while the twin that is higher is known as Baby B
Polar bears almost always give birth to twins!
25-13. pixabay (public domain), 12. Felipe P from pt, Portico Candido Godoi, CC BY-SA 3.0, 11-9. pixabay (public domain), 8. wikimedia commons (public domain), 7-4 Public Domain, 3. Shutterstock, 2. pixabay (public domain), 1. Shutterstock