Double Trouble! Crazy Identical Twin Facts

Twins are cool. Although it doesn’t quite seem like they can communicate through brain messages, some twins have some freaky similarities!

As a fraternal twin myself, I have always wondered why my brother and I are so alike but so different at the same time. Identical twins, on the other hand, are like clones of each other; on average they share 98% of their DNA! This is astounding compared to an average of 50% in fraternal twins.

Even being a twin, I was pretty amazed by some of the identical twin facts I've come across. For instance, twins can have different dads, and even be of different races! I thought I was unique as a twin.

Check out some more of these wacky identical twin facts:

  • The birth rate for twins in the United States has increased 76% since 1980.
  • There's a gene for twins! Some women are more susceptible to hyper ovulation, which increases the likelihood of having twins.
  • Twins can be born years apart! Through in-vitro fertilization, twin embryos can be made. If the embryos are frozen, one twin can be born years apart from the other!
  • Twins can have secret conversations! Idioglossia — a language often created and shared between twins, allows them to communicate without anyone else understanding.
    • About 40% of twins invent their own languages.
  • Women who consume large amounts of dairy products are more likely to have twins.
  • A recent study reported that environmental factors such as dietary habits and chemical exposures, also known as epigenetic effects, cause identical twins to grow dissimilar over time
  • Ena Pugh and Lily Millward, a pair of British twins who both celebrated their 102nd birthdays on Jan. 4, are the oldest twins alive.
  • Identical twins don’t have identical fingerprints.
  • Using an ultrasound isn’t the only way doctors can detect a twin pregnancy: some figure it out when they hear two tiny heartbeats through their stethoscope.
  • Moms can gain 35-45 pounds during a twin pregnancy! This is compared with 25-35 pounds in a normal pregnancy.

Turns out being a twin a was a little bit more unique than I thought.