I Had No Idea These Things Were True About Twins

Posted by GreaterGoodness

Identical twins have been a steady source of intrigue in mainstream media and among scientists for many years now — and with good reason. From the famous Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who acted as identical role models that so many children looked up to, to identical twin studies that have led scientists to breakthroughs in research on nature versus nurture, identical twins have provided the world with much to talk about. Read on to discover eight amazing things we know about identical twins.

Identical Twins Are Almost Always the Same Sex

Since identical twins are formed from the same egg, they are almost always the same sex. However, there have been about three to five documented cases where one male twin dropped the “Y” chromosome that made him male, resulting in opposite sex identical twins. In this case, the twin with the dropped chromosome would have Turner’s syndrome, as she would have only 45 chromosomes instead of the normal 46.

Identical Twins Have Nearly Identical Brain Waves

Many identical twins, even those who never lived together in the same environment, have been shown to think alike — even to the point of naming their children the same names, or pursuing identical careers. Researchers have discovered that identical twins boast nearly identical brainwave patterns, which may explain why many twins claim to know what their twin is thinking and feeling.

Identical Twins Don’t Have Identical Fingerprints

In addition to genetics, exposure to different areas within the womb, as well as stress experienced in utero, affects how the fingerprints develop. Therefore, identical twins actually have their own sets of unique fingerprints. According to Live Science, even something as small as a slight change in the length of the umbilical cord can change the shape of fingerprints.

Twins Interact With Each Other in the Womb

Researchers at the University of Padova, Italy, studied five sets of twins using 3-D ultrasound equipment. They discovered that as early as 14 weeks old, the twins interacted with one another, and at 18 weeks, they were gently touching and caressing the other, staying in contact for more than 30 percent of the time. The researchers found that the fetuses were extra gentle when touching near their twin’s eyes, as if recognizing their fragility.

Twins Can Communicate in Their Own Language

The Institute of General Linguistics carried out research that states that up to 40 percent of twins communicate using their own language, also known as “idioglossia.” The twins appear to create the language themselves as infants and use it to communicate with one another, despite it sounding like gibberish to everyone else.

Identical Twins Aren’t Truly Identical

Though identical twins share the same DNA and come from the same egg, outside influences such as diet and environmental exposures cause changes over time, including health issues or disease. Social factors also influence changes in personality. The twins can become less alike over time, with younger twins more identical than older sets.

Some Identical Twins Are Mirror Images

Some identical twins are actually mirror images of one another — one may have a birthmark on her left arm, while the other will have one on her right. This occurs when the egg splits in two later than usual. Sometimes, this mirroring is actually so severe that one twin’s organs, including the heart, might be on the opposite side.

Some Twins Separated at Birth Lived Strangely Identical Lives

Scientists studied twins that had been separated at birth to determine how much of our personalities are determined by nature versus nurture. Interestingly, the studies found that identical twins that had never even met led strangely similar lives — some even named their children and pets by the same name, had the same career, and showed the same mannerisms.

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