The birth of twins itself is a deviation from the norm, yet we have come to accept this as a part of everyday life. Even though two people looking exactly alike, as is the case with identical twins, doesn’t surprise us; there is a variety of twin phenomena which may do so.
- Twins can appear to be of different races
Fraternal twins can look as different as regular siblings, but many of them do look a little bit alike. With an increase in biracial relationships, however, it is now becoming more common for twins to appear as two different races.
Lucy and Maria Aylmer have found it difficult to convince people that they are twins, their entire lives. This is because Lucy appears to be white, sporting red hair, green eyes and extremely fair skin, while Maria has dark skin, dark brown eyes and black hair.
- Twins can have different fathers
Even though this is an extremely rare occurrence, with a one-in–a-billion chance of being discovered, it is possible for fraternal twins to have separate fathers. When a woman releases two eggs during ovulation, and has sex with two partners shortly after, each one can be fertilized by a different man resulting in the unexpected extension of the family.
- Twins can live similar lives when separated
Many twins develop different personalities when they are brought up in the same environment. In cases that have been observed after twins have been separated at a young age, it has been discovered that their lives may take very similar pathways. Some of these similarities include: having the same type of pet, identical favourite foods, smoking the same brands of cigarettes and even getting married to people with the same name.
- Twins can be born months apart
Many twins have had to wait days or even weeks to reconnect outside the womb. In some extreme cases, they may even be separated for months. The record for the longest amount of time between the births of twins is 87 days. This is because their mother’s water broke in the fourth month of pregnancy and the first baby arrived. The child continued its growth in an incubator, and her sister kept in the womb for as long as possible.
- Twins can become physical reflections of each other
About ¼ of all twins develop face-to-face in the womb and are often referred to as ‘Mirror Image Twins.’ Many times they continue to be exact reflections of each other throughout their lives, and some of the most common examples of these are the fact that one twin may be left handed and the other right, as well as birth marks being on opposite sides of their bodies.