Interesting Facts about Twins and What It’s like to Be One

Cassi Misciagna, Feature Editor

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Interesting Facts about Twins and What It’s like to Be One

 

A twin is a pair of children produced during the same pregnancy and, according to University of Texas, of the 7 billion people on Earth, about 3% of the total population is one of them. As a twin myself, I have always been fascinated about the topic, and often wanted to explain to others what it is like living as one. As a result, I asked some of my fellow twins and triplets attending our school about how being a twin has affected their lives. Here are some of their responses.

 

Both fraternal and identical twins alike found that widespread twin myths, things such as the belief that all twins are identical or look similar, twin telepathy, the idea they can feel each other’s pain, and twins having a secret language, were just mind boggling. However, there might be some truth for each. Although twins cannot feel each other’s pain or communicate telepathically, many do have a strong foresight and emotional connection with the other, which can allow them to pick up on the others body language and predict their reactions. Furthermore, before birth, twins can often start bonding in utero as early as 14 weeks. Twins, both of the fraternal and identical variety commonly engage in “twin-talk”, or Cryptophasia, in their infancy and youth, but many grow out of using the language as they grow. Lastly, there are many types of twins including fraternal, mirror image, Siamese (conjoined), and parasitic, with roughly 40% of all twins being of the identical variety, but in rare cases the siblings have been born different races and even with different birthdays.     

 

Identical twins said that when people confuse them it can be both a benefit and an annoyance depending on the circumstances, but both types also generally found it angering when people think of them and their sibling as a singularity. Furthermore, they stated that some people tended to believe both twins would act in an equivalent manner in all lifestyles and would even hold one’s actions against of both. As a result, many identical twins and a couple of fraternal twins did admit that at one point or another, they went out of their way to be different from their sibling. Overall, many already had differences that set them apart, and were encouraged to be different from one another by their parents and peers.

 

Fraternal twins often state that unless they told someone of their sibling, many never even knew, and for many it rarely affected their daily lives except for the sharing everything with their brother or sister. However, both fraternal and identical twins said that being a twin has helped them meet others though sometimes an unconventional manner. For example, one participant stated that during the start of the 2015 to 2016 school year, one of their sibling’s classmates invited them to sit with their group of friends. However, the girl had not known that her classmate was an identical twin, so following a brief introduction and a little bit of confusion, discovered the truth.

 

For fraternal twins, switching places would be an impossible feat to perform, but for identical twins, it is something they often ask themselves. While some find the idea astonishing and impossible to pull off, others, due to their minor differences, may have actually done it. Although there were no outlandish stories like that of the Parent Trap, where twins traded places for entire weeks, one pair of participants did state that they would often swap places in grade school midway through the day while their teacher wasn’t looking.

 

However, despite the downsides of having a twin by your side all the time, everyone stated that having someone with them throughout life was overall pleasant. Because of their unique bond, many twins can always relate to one another in all stages of their life, which gave them support in troubling times. They stated that the bond they share acts as a form of security in times of stress, anger, or sadness even when miles apart which they would not trade for anything.

 

I hope this article gives you an alternative perspective on what it is like to be a twin of both the fraternal and identical variety. Furthermore, I would also like to thank Alexi Misciagna, Anna Knott, Sophie Knott, Seth Maly-Cordell, Sarah Morton, Rachel Meyers, Callie Cimino, and Michael Daniel for their help in writing this article.

 

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Interesting Facts about Twins and What It’s like to Be One