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Friday, January 13, 2012

155

"Each has the other’s name tattooed on his inner lip"

For [twins] raised in the same culture with the same opportunities, differences in IQ reflected largely differences in inheritance rather than in training or education. ... This ran counter to the prevailing belief of behaviorists that our brains were blank slates waiting to be inscribed by experience.

The current National Geographic has an interesting article on twins, as well as twin hypnotic twin-photo galleries (one, two).

If there are any identical twins in the crowd: do you ever get jealous of your twin, and how? Or is there usually some kind of equilibrium?

Tags:

science, twins, iq

155 Comments / Post A Comment

Petrichoria

So, I grew up in this little town called Twinsburg.

We host this: http://www.twinsdays.org/

punkahontas

@LaFabuliste I saw a show about that! OMG. Are there twins in your family or is it just random that you live there?

Petrichoria

@punkahontas Just random that I live there. But my best friend and I look somewhat alike-- same hair color, skin tone, eye color. In the normal world, we get asked if we're in sisters a lot. In August, at home, we always get asked if we're twins.

No. No we are not.

hellonheels

@LaFabuliste So do you find the Twin Days Festival totally creepy or what? I was dragged there on vacation once as a preteen (I have identical twin brothers) and my memories of it look suspiciously like a horror movie where everyone but me has a doppelganger.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@hellonheels: ! Do fraternal twins experience some kind of discrimination?

hellonheels

@Too Much Internet You know, I'm sure it attracts plenty of them, but I was so shell-shocked by the whole experience that I don't remember seeing any. I believe they do have contests for the twins that look the least alike though. They're not ostracized.

I may be belaboring this point but while it's one thing to see a collection of cute little kid twins, identical adults dressed alike just seem sinister, especially en masse.

punkahontas

I know identical, musically-talented triplets (long story), who you may or may not have seen on America's Got Talent. I went to a convention of multiples with them because it was here in NY. There were twins dancing with twins, and all the twins wanted to get pictures with the triplets in a formation like this: 0x0x0. It was INSANE. Like two weddings in parallel universes collided.

Aeroplane

@punkahontas when you said "identical, mustically-talented triplets" I immediately thought you were talking about these ladies instead. I was disappointed.

punkahontas

@Aeroplane Now I'm disappointed too!

Brittanie Shey

I dated a twin once, for a while. He and his brother shared a house. I was pretty hardcore in love with him, but I also had the most depressing feeling that no matter what happened between us, I'd always play second fiddle to his brother. Both were pretty hot. It was only after the breakup that I realized his brother was probably the better match for me personality-wise.

Aeroplane

@Brittanie Shey My friend in college dated one twin, and then only a few months later dated the other twin. They were identical twins, AND shared a dorm room. It remains probably the most awkward situation I think I've ever witnessed.

withatwist

@Brittanie Shey I dated an identical twin for awhile! I was really close with his family and we remained friends after breaking up. I think the dad sort-of suggested to me that the other twin might be a better match for me, interest-wise, about a year after the one twin and I stopped dating.
Sort of related- I know of two sets of elderly twins with rhyming names, where one name is made-up. Catherine and Natherine and Curtis and Burtis. How does this happen? Did the parents decide they really liked one name and when they had twins just decided to switch out a letter?

all the bacon and eggs

@Brittanie Shey Poor Burtis.

Sunny Schomaker

@Brittanie Shey I have dated two separate twins (if that makes any sense). In both cases, I would have had better luck if I had dated the other twin.

Holden Cauliflower

@aitch
Poor Burtis and Natherine, living forever in the shadows of their twins with the sense-making names.

travelmugs

@Brittanie Shey There were some poor twins at my college whose parents gave them the SAME FIRST NAME and RHYMING MIDDLE NAMES. They were also roommates who kind of dated the same girl.

Brittanie Shey

@aitch What the hell?

curlysue

@Brittanie Shey : Yes! me too. I dated a twin back in my early 20s. He lived with his twin bro, and they were very much attached at the hip. When wanted to move to a new town, the other followed suit. Or relationship ended when he decided to follow his twin back across the country. I mean, there were other reasons too, like his fear of commitment, but where one went, the other followed. I never stood a chance. Also, when we were dating, his twin tagged along on many of our outings. I only had an intimate relationship with one, but there were times when it felt like there were three people in that relationship. I hear they now live in separate states, so I guess they ultimately developed some independence.

Tragically Ludicrous

@travelmugs I know a guy who has an almost-identical name to his brother (Maik, pronounced Mike, and Mick, with the same middle names in different order), but they're not twins and I think he just has weird parents.

OhMarie

@Brittanie Shey My sister's long-term boyfriend is an identical twin. It's weird, because his brother is basically like an all-around less-good version of him: slightly less socially astute, slightly less attractive (combo haircut/slightly heavier/worse glasses). Once at an extremely dark party I talked to the brother for 10 minutes thinking it was the boyfriend, just wondering wtf was wrong with him. I will say that the relationships invovled have gotten significantly less weird since the boyfriend moved in with my sister and away from his brother.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@OhMarie: Haha! "Doug, hell, I hate to tell you this, but you need to pull yourself together, you're looking like the dog's breakfast. Oh, you're Ron... never mind."

AniaGosia

@aitch I went to junior high with twin brothers whose names were, I kid you not: Sir Walter and Sir Valter.

Verity

@AniaGosia Oh god, that's awful.

Pound of Salt

@all the bacon and eggs Not to be too creepy, but when I woke up this morning the first thought that popped into my head was, "Poor Burtis." Much laughs!

The Lady of Shalott

Last summer I was in Montreal with a bunch of my friends, and one of them is afraid of identical twins. Well, creeped out by them, I guess, when they are dressed exactly alike? Anyway, we were there during the Juste Pour Rire festivals, which coincided with a gigantic Twins Festival, and culminated in a TWIN PARADE. St-Catherine was full of identical twins, dressed in wedding clothes (dresses for ladies, tuxes for gents), thousands of them.

She was pretty freaked out. It was surreal.

BoozinSusan

@The Lady of Shalott That is the best coincidence involving Fears Coming True I have ever heard.

klemay

@The Lady of Shalott Ooh, I vote for a collection Fears Coming True stories!

hellonheels

@The Lady of Shalott I'm not even afraid of twins (it would be problematic if I was, as I have identical twin brothers), but I went to that Twin Days festival mentioned in the article once and had basically the same reaction. It was creepy as hell.

mc coolfriend

@The Lady of Shalott Not to thread jack, since there are no twins in this story, so I'll just one up real quick w/this: I was snowed in by a freak blizzard at a motel in a small part of Connecticut. At the same time the motel was home to a clown convention. And, um, all the clowns looked identical, like John Wayne Gacy as a thousand sets of twins? So I guess that makes this comment relevant now?

The Lady of Shalott

@pippi bongstocking Holy effing shit, I would have WALKED to the next motel to get away from that horror film waiting to happen.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@pippi bongstocking Clown convention? You can't eat that.

sox
sox

@pippi bongstocking OH MY GOD ARE YOU OKAY?

LooseBaggyMonster

@pippi bongstocking That's as bad as a motel with an extensive taxidermied bird collection.

Bebe

There were 5 sets of identical twins in my graduating class in HS - they were all featured in the Enquirer once, or something like the Enquirer (my memory, she fails). They all ran the gamut, from the football-playing brothers who used to dress alike and switch places in class when one of them didn't do the homework, to the sisters who barely spoke to each other, dyed their hair different colors, and got furious when people confused them. It was fascinating to me, though I'm not sure how much they all enjoyed being lumped all together as a group the same way they were always taken as a unit with their siblings.

redheaded&crazy

Also, name your favourite twins!

I dunno ... it's weird ... none are coming to mind for me ...

Bebe

@redheadedandcrazy The Wakefields, of course!

redheaded&crazy

@redheadedandcrazy silly how could you forget padma and parvati patil, the most beloved twins in the whole harry potter series?!

crazy woman.

applestoapples

@redheadedandcrazy I was going to say something obvious but then I SAW WHAT YOU DID THERE.

Bebe

@applestoapples Ha, I totally missed that! I am...not smart today.

redheaded&crazy

@Bebe in your defense, its ... its not a very good "joke" ... i don't really know where i was going with it.

inconclusion,

WEASLEY TWINS WEASLEY TWINS WEASLEY TWINS

anachronistique

@redheadedandcrazy Gred and Forge are the best.

Bebe

@redheadedandcrazy You're being kind - it is a good joke, I just need more caffeine. Obviously, one cup a day isn't working.

However, I will fight you over Weasley vs Wakefield in the Favorite Twins Cage Match.

redheaded&crazy

@Bebe the Weasley twins have magic, not to mention CHARM! I submit that this episode of Favourite Twins Cage Match will end in a slightly highly NSFW fashion >:D

Ialdagorth

@redheadedandcrazy I ran into the actors who play the Weasely twins at DragonCon one year (full disclosure - have not read or seen anything Harry Potter related so they had to be explained to me later) and they are very chipper, smiley, handsome young men.

EpWs

@Ialdagorth As opposed to in the movies, where they play very chipper, smiley, handsome young men.

Bebe

@redheadedandcrazy @laldagorth Hmm...well, I know nothing about Harry Potter, and hearing that they are chipper, handsome, young, and MAGIC, I had to Google Image them to see if I changed my mind. However, as chipper, handsome, and young as they are, I'm sticking to team Wakefield. I mean, there has to be an evil twin! It's just not the same without the evil twin!

werewolfbarmitzvah

@redheadedandcrazy Favorite twins = superstud mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro and his superstud brother Joaquin!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Castro

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaqu%C3%ADn_Castro

I'll see you in my dreams tonight, sweet sweet superstud twins...

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@redheadedandcrazy The Thompson Twins from Tintin!! (Who technically weren't twins because they had different last names, but were identical)

miwome

@skyandgorse Probably separated at birth, clearly turned out to be professionally and syntactically identical. Take THAT, Nurture!

@werewolfbarmitzvah I think Joaquín is better-looking than Julián. Thoughts?

Decca

@redheadedandcrazy Peaks.

emilylou

@redheadedandcrazy MKA! I can't even tell you. I was so creepily obsessed with them. My friend and I would cut out magazine pictures/articles on them and keep all our clippings in a giant scrapbook, and we spent our weekends having "twin sleepovers" in which we'd browse through our book while watching Passport to Paris and the like. She called me "Mary-Kate" and I called her "Ashley." This was junior high. We were creepy. When we were older, we saw New York Minute in theatres just to support them. I don't know, you guys. I just. don't. know.

I still have the scrapbook in storage somewhere, it's a great time capsule and/or testament to how insane I was as a 13 year old.

bookbike

@emilylouise My friend and I used to play MKA all the time. It was when they had their own TV show. I was MK and she was Ashley. Then this other girl started playing with us a lot, so we parsed the names and I was Mary, the other girl was Kate, and the third girl Ashley. TRIPLETS!

bananalise

@emilylouise There is something about the obsessions of that age in particular. Like, you need something to do with this weird energy you have after the hormones start raging but before the rebellion kicks in/before your crushes know you exist/whatever. I was a weird obsessive 13 year old and I often find out that my favorite people were as well. I LOVE that (and the 1998 Romanian Olympic gymnastics team).
(And omg, not our fault about MKA--that shit was marketed straight to our brainholes. It was engineered to make us obsessed.)

miwome

@bananalise I agree! My crazed obsessions around that age were David Bowie, followed by Moulin Rouge (the movie). My parents were convinced I'd get over MR within a few months, but I stuck it out a year plus. SO THERE, MOM AND DAD.

Decca

@emilylouise "just to support them." I totally nodded in grave agreement at this.

emilylou

@miwome Don't get me started on Moulin Rouge!!!!!

Okay, actually do get me started:
I saw it like three times in theatres. I somehow found and purchased a MR t-shirt that I wore all the time. I bought the soundtrack and listened to it 24/7. For the homecoming dance that year, I sought out the most Satine-like red dress ever AND EVEN DYED MY HAIR RED :/ My mom was like, "I am literally very worried about you." Whatever, mom. You just don't get it.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@bananalise Ice gymnastics?

miwome

@emilylouise I only saw it once in theaters, but I bought the special edition DVD and watched it literally every weekend for I don't know how long. It was the first thing I did after school on Friday afternoon.

My parents were awfully nice to put up with me singing along to the soundtracks (of course I had both) on my CD player ALL THE TIME in the car. SPEAKING OF THE SOUNDTRACK, did you notice that tiny, whispered, "The woman I love is dead" and "I love you" at the beginning and end of the CD? Those MOVED ME TO THE CORE.

Decca

@miwome My best friend and I spent the entire summer of 2005 watching Moulin Rouge every single day. And we would stop the dvd just after the Come What May reprise so Satine wouldn't die.

emilylou

@miwome DID I NOTICE? Please. "The woman I love... is... dead." I mean, can it GET any more raw? I think not.

MrsLlama

@miwome I had the same reaction! (re Joaquin out-hotting Julian)

miwome

@emilylouise I dunno, the tears running down Toulouse's face when she's dying are pretty up there. Also, John Leguizamo running around on his knees the whole time blows my mind, still.

She was a retail whore

@miwome I have researched this extensively in the last 30 seconds, and must say that I concur.

werewolfbarmitzvah

@miwome I think Joaquin is the one who's single, too, so if anybody's in Texas, go get him! Live the dream!

miwome

@werewolfbarmitzvah Sigh, you know how they say if the entire US population were as densely packed as they are in NY, we could fit everybody into, I forget, like not even all of New England? Sometimes I wish we would do that, so that there wouldn't be so many delicious men thousands of miles away from me. Also: trips out to TOTALLY UNSPOILED NATURE.

lora.bee

@miwome This is delayed, but...are you me? Because David Bowie & Moulin Rouge were my EXACT obsessions at this age. Which is probably why there were some viewings of Labyrinth amongst all of the Moulin Rouge-ness.

miwome

@lora.bee Huzzah! Perhaps I am. Labyrinth is also part of my adolescent underbrain. High five!

FashionablyEvil

My twin sister and I don't really get jealous at this point since we're doing very different stuff. I am (mostly) over the fact that she scored 30 points higher on the SAT than I did.

Lucienne

My younger sisters are (probably identical) twins. I think for them the most annoying part would be when people would insist they were each other. They've always been very close, but very discrete individuals.

We're less than two years apart so people often ask if we're triplets (even when I was a toddler and they were infants? whatever).

FashionablyEvil

@Lucienne There was an article on Slate about how "probably identical" are usually identical. Apparently fraternal twins never question whether or not they're identical (according to the company that offers genetic testing.)

Bebe

@Lucienne I have friends who are fraternal twins - a brother and a sister. More often than one would think, people have asked them, "Oh, are you identical twins?"

Lucienne

@FashionablyEvil I only say probably because in order to get a 100% definite answer either way, my parents would have had to get a second test done. The first test said there was an 80% chance, or something. They certainly look identical, except for their hair. But it doesn't really matter that much, honestly? I think most people don't really think of them as twins when they know them. I certainly don't.

@Bebe Hah, yes! The other thing is that sometimes we'll say "no, not triplets" and then the person will ask if one of them is my twin. That happens less now, but it was so weird when it did.

iceberg

@Bebe - Haha we have triplets, one boy 2 girls, and people OFTEN ask this, depsite the fact that they ALSO clearly have different eye/hair color - umm do you know what identical even means???

Auntie Maim@twitter

@Lucienne I have a friend with a twin brother, and the first question she ALWAYS gets after saying, "I have a twin brother," is "Are you identical?" Well, he is a man, soooo ... .

hellonheels

@Lucienne My brothers are the same. They look so much alike that we just refer to them as identical, though. I mean, they are basically the same person.

She was a retail whore

@hellonheels Do you refer to them as one name. I had friends in high school who were sisters (not twins, but one year apart), but they were so often with one another and so alike that we just gave them a portmanteau name (this was in the halcyon days before Bennifer happened to the world, etc). Even when only one was around, we'd call her the whole name. I think it confused new people, but to those of us who knew them well, and to the sisters themselves, this made perfect sense.

hellonheels

@Lucienne Their names are Nicholas and Nathan, but throughout high school we referred to them interchangeably as Nichathan and Nathalas.

Verity

@Bebe I am a triplet (fraternal, and very obvious as none of us has both the same hair colour and sex as another - dark-haired boy, dark-haired girl, red-haired girl). A while ago a friend of my sister's commented on a photo of us as toddlers, asking how we all had slightly different hair colours despite being identical. It was gently explained that we weren't.

rora

@Bebe Haha. I know girl-boy twins who look so alike that they COULD be identical, if that were a possible thing. It's easy to forget, maybe?

TeresaOtter

I think it might just be me, but I really want to hug everyone?

charizard

Occasionally I feel sorry for identical twins, who will inevitably experience more weird, unwelcome sexual fetishism from other people than a non-twin.

(But I would love to experience the surreality of dating a twin and then dating the other twin.)

boysplz

@charizard I had a roommate once that was a twin. Our other roommate was dancing around the inevitability of sleeping with him but first slept with his twin brother when he was visiting. It kinda made sense because the visiting twin was the more clean cut of the two so I suppose she wanted the vanilla version before going after the crunchier twin.

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@boysplz How weird would it be if you were a twin and you knew your boo had dated/slept with your sibling?!

miwome

@boysplz Also, lower commitment? This is horrible, but sort of like sleeping with the roommate but without the consequences? (THIS IS NOT WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS BUT I UNDERSTAND HOW SOMEONE'S LIBIDO MIGHT FEEL THIS WAY, IS ALL)

olivia

I have a twin sister and we're fraternal, but a lot of people (including the people running a twin study we participate in) think we're identical. We're a similar height/weight and have the same coloring but actually don't share a single facial feature.

We never get jealous of each other...well at least I don't get jealous of her. Maybe she's overcome with jealousy and hatred toward me and I don't know it?

Having a twin sister is pretty much the best thing ever...a twin brother probably wouldn't be as cool. Yes I am sexist!

Oh and we never dressed alike, nor do we have rhyming names. That stuff is NOT COOL, parents of twins! My mom specifically didn't dress us alike so we could foster personalities on our own, and not just be known as The LastName Twins. Plus she made sure we were in separate classrooms in school.

iceberg

@olivia How did you feel about being in different classrooms? Would you have preferred to be together? Do you think it helped foster individuality/independence? (sorry, I am a mum of multiiples)

Tropical Iceland

@olivia I love having a twin brother though! Its nice to be so close to a guy in my family, I don't think I would otherwise. Going to school together was always a huge advantage too, one of us always had the textbook or homework if the other didn't (okay he always had it). Plus, once we were in high school we would gossip about basically everyone we knew. These days he's probably the person I'm closest to.

She was a retail whore

@olivia Your mom is one smart lady. My friend had twin daughters, and the ridiculous rhyming things her equally ridiculous family suggested that she and her husband name them just blew my mind. At birth, they were given beautiful, non-rhyming, names that still disappoint many of their kin. Craziness.

When I was younger, my school district's policy was to place twins in separate classrooms, unless the parents and school administration specifically decided that they needed to be together during the day.

hellonheels

@iceberg My brothers were placed in separate classrooms throughout their childhood except for the year between kindergarten and first grade, when they were in the same Readiness classroom as there was only one section (I don't know if they have this everywhere - for kids who are either very young for their year or need additional development). They were so inseparable in every other way that I really think separating them is the only reason they were able to form independent identities. I mean, they are still super-BFFs and as identical as identical can be in both appearance and interests, but don't have the codependent-ish relationship that some of these twins seem to.

noodge

i've dated an identical twin twice. not the same twin, or his brother, but one of a set of twins, on two separate occasions, out of two separate families. it always feels so hard to describe.

SheFightsLikeAGirl

My (11 years) younger brothers are (probably identical, never tested) twins. Because of my experience of them as babies, I thought if I were ever to have kids, I'd want twins. They were the sweetest, most adorable babies, and would spend hours in quiet play together. Before too long, they were diagnosed autistic, but are high-functioning on the spectrum. As independent adults (but who still live together), I still think they are two of the funniest people ever. One of the things they've done since childhood (having always shared a bedroom) is they sleep in shifts -- it's rare to find them both awake at the same time. So at family events, one of them will show up. And for those who don't spend a lot of time with them, it's sometimes difficult to tell them apart. So if you ask, "Are you Josh or John?" whichever one might shrug and sardonically answer, "Does it matter?"

Bon Vivant

Twins tend to leave me feeling spooked. Something about perfectly replicated features, secret languages, and the...I think the word I want is Intimacy. Like, so close it's uncomfortable for me to be around. Close in the womb, close in the mind, close in the spirit. Finishing sentences, psychic pains over great distances, etc.
I chalk it up to some weird primal response. It's certainly not based in any sort of logic.

SheFightsLikeAGirl

@Bon Vivant I love it, but then, I'm a big fan of the eerie. And identical twins, especially when they eff with you about it, are definitely eerie. (I'd be one of those, were I a twin.)

queenofbithynia

@Bon Vivant Ever read about the silent twins? I feel a little uncomfortable being interested in them since they're real people and one of them is still alive, but they're endlessly fascinating & there's a book about them. Plus the books they wrote themselves, which are nearly impossible to find. They were like tiny twin discontented firebug Brontes.

Bon Vivant

@queenofbithynia oh gurl, no i hadn't heard of them. O_O "They were like tiny twin discontented firebug Brontes."
I don't think I can resist this research.

miwome

@queenofbithynia I am amazed. I really want a BBC miniseries.

Bittersweet

@Bon Vivant: My mom and aunt are identical twins, and they definitely have some sort of unspoken communication going on during family gatherings. It's not particularly eerie...in fact, the rest of us joke about it regularly when we get together.

miwome

@Bittersweet This is interesting to me, because certain members of my extended family--no twins involved--share this, but not others. It's my dad, my aunt (his sister), my cousin (her daughter), and me; in this gathering, basically we are the ones all related to the same set of grandparents. The telepathy goes all directions among the four of us. I don't share it with my mom, nor my cousin with her dad. (I'm not saying we don't have other kinds of understanding, but this is a specific thing I'm talking about.)

Maybe it's about a particular shared background plus some shared personality traits? I don't know. Communication is weird!

Bebe

@miwome My sister and I are not twins, and we can do this. Never play Pictionary against us - as a team, we will crush you.

miwome

@Bebe Yes! With us it's charades. It's eerie.

Bon Vivant

@miwome @bebe (And anyone else!!)can you describe what it's like to have that telepathy? like, when does it manifest? how? are there physical feelings associated? I hope you don't feel I'm prying, but I find it terribly interesting and I've never experienced something like it.

Bebe

@miwome If only Tandem Parlor Games was an Olympic sport!

miwome

@Bebe We should start an amateur league or something. Tournaments. You know. It would be so much funnnnnnn

@Bon Vivant hmm. I wouldn't say there was a physical thing. It feels sort of like lightning inspiration or sudden insight--when in an instant you come up with what you know is a brilliant pun, or see something in a text that you just KNOW is important and your paper is going to be really good, etc.

So, one time, my aunt pantomimed some sort of grain growing on a stalk, which I correctly guessed as corn. She then loomed a little bit and looked creepy, and I immediately knew this was the Minotaur (I was right). It's like, our brains operate on such similar paths that we don't even need to go through the steps (corn = maize = maze; maze + creeper = Minotaur); we're just there. It's like teleportation vs. taking the train.

Bebe

@Bon Vivant It doesn't really "feel" like anything, like I can't hear her voice in my head, and if she hurts herself I don't feel it. But we can finish each other's sentences, and when I'm having trouble describing something, she can put it into the exact words I was looking for, that kind of thing. More often than not, if I say "I could go for a banana," she will say "I was just thinking that!" which isn't really odd except in the frequency. We communicate non-verbally when we are together, so we will make eye contact and start laughing, then when someone asks us what's so funny, we are always laughing about the same thing. We will have very similar dreams on the same or consecutive nights.

Honestly, all this can just be chalked up to similar thinking patterns and knowing each other very, very well. So it's not telepathy so much as sisterpathy. (That's the technical term, of course).

@miwome that would be SO FUN. Also, yes, I love the teleportation vs train analogy. Where other people have to explain what they are thinking and how they got there, with my sister, we just know, so we speak in total shorthand to each other.

miwome

@Bebe I was pretty pleased when I came up with it, myself! And yes, the speaking through eye contact thing happens between me and my cousin a lot. My mom and I can do it, too, but only with regard to commenting on my dad--which is interesting, because I'd never considered situationally specific telepathy until now! Conversation: it works.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@Bebe: "Honestly, all this can just be chalked up to similar thinking patterns and knowing each other very, very well. So it's not telepathy so much as sisterpathy. (That's the technical term, of course)."

Thank you for stating this, my scientist eyeballs were starting to roll at the idea that this was actual brain to brain communication and not just the outcome of similar mind engrams.

Verity

@Too Much Internet Yes - my sister and I (I'm a triplet) are always very good at games that involve guessing what the other's describing, even when being vague ("you know, that thing that time" "WHEELBARROW" "yes!"), and all three of us have experienced saying the same thing at the same time as another, but there's definitely no telepathy there, just a vast amount of shared experiences.

Annie Murphy@facebook

I'm a fraternal twin, which is never as exciting to people. But, I also dated another fraturnal twin. So that made me cooler. My one regret is that I could never get my twin or his twin to give it a go.

Ophelia

My freshman year of college, there were these identical twins from Staten Island who looked like they belonged in the Godfather. They also wouldn't really talk to anyone but each other, and were roommates. Someone took their (matching, even to the clothes, expression, etc) photos from the facebook* and made flyers that said "Bambinos Have a Posse" and hung them around campus.

I have no idea why I remember this in this level of detail.

*The paper one. This was a while ago.

rora

OKAY, so. My friend's mom is a twin, and she and her twin sister ended up dating these brothers (non twins). Then they switched somewhere along the line? That's not important to the story but it's funny I think. So then his mom and her sister each end up marrying one of the brothers, and each couple had one kid (both boys). So basically my friend and his cousin are... DOUBLE cousins. They look a little alike, nothing crazy similar, but their voices are exactly the same.

iceberg

@rora haha that's awesome!

emilylou

@rora I have double cousins! We call each other supercousins. My dad's little brother and my mom's little sister married each other; they met through my parents.

I have a younger brother and my aunt & uncle had two boys who are both around my bro's age. We all look and act veeeeeeeery similar. It's weird/fun/cool.

Verity

@rora My sister and I have basically the same voice. I volunteer at Brownies, and one week one of the girls came up to me and said "I was in the fish and chip shop and there was a girl there who sounded just like you!", and I was able to confirm that we were in fact related.

rora

@emilylouise nice! I'm glad there are other supercousins/doublecousins out there!

MsChilePepper

@emilylouise There are double cousins in my family; two of my Mom's sisters married two brothers. No twins involved in that scenario, although my Mom did have fraternal twin brothers, one of whom had twin sons (only one survived at birth).

There were also twins in my Dad's family, so I'm pretty sure if I'd chosen to go down the parenthood road, with my luck I'd have ended up with a litter.

In other twinny tangents, I am acquainted with this fellow.

so what?

@rora i have a double cousin! and it's funny, that is actually the phrase i use to describe her ("double cousin"). no twins marrying, just my mom and dad's siblings.

here is a strange thing: for as back as we can figure in my grandpa's family, in any sets of twins that were born (of which there were multiple), one has always died before adolescence and usually in a freak accident.

one cow.

I went to college with these identical twins, & it was SO CRAZY. They dressed identically, had the exact same course schedule, & were once named the nation's "most identical twins." They play harp, model, dance, know sign language, & are black belts in karate.

one cow.

@one cow. Okay, & I just realized they're in one of the National Geographic slideshows!

highjump

@one cow. Apparently they are republicans. http://www.harptwins.com/Photos.html [bottom photo]

karrrren

@one cow. as a twin, i'm only slightly joking when i say that this sort of thing offends me.

theguvnah

@one cow. Holy cow! How have I never heard of these gals??

Signed,
An identical twin

NeenerNeener

Guess what I learned from my Psych textbook a couple years ago? Mary Kate and Ashley are not identical twins! And some other interesting twin stuff.

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@NeenerNeener get back to work

KeLynn

@NeenerNeener When I heard that I was super surprised. I sure think they look identical. If I was them I don't know if I would ever even think to get tested to figure it out, it seems like it would *seem* so obvious that they were identical!

Katherine Shamburger@twitter

As an identical twin, my friends would notice that my sister and I would inadvertently make the same body movements. It was pretty common for one of them to start staring at us because of it. Growing up, we were pretty much compared to each other all of the time, so any jealousy that I had towards my twin was because we had the same interests and I couldn't escape the fact that I was not "independent". We lived in a small town so we were ALWAYS referred to as "the (lastname) twins".

Decca

Hallie and Annie from The Parent Trap (Mk II)! The O'Sullivan Twins! Carol and Mark Thatcher!

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@Decca The O'Sullivan twins! Everyone thinks Pat is the closet case, but Im gunning for Isabel to have interesting tales in her autobiography

Decca

@skyandgorse Agreed. While Mamzelle Abominable is just the HBIC.

melis

DEAR ABBY AND ANN LANDERS

UGH it's like none of you even SAW that Wendy Malick made-for-TV movie.

karrrren

i have a twin sister. we're actually not sure whether we're fraternal or identical; we're dichorionic (look it up) and we were told growing up that we were fraternal, but it turns out there's a 1/3 chance we're identical anyway (we're very alike).

anyway, i'm sure the author of the post and my fellow commenters are totally well-meaning and nice, but this all sounds hopelessly naive to me. a pair of twins is like a married couple. some get along perfectly and do everything together, and to many others they can seem very weird. others don't get along at all. some compete with each other, some don't. any feeling that you can imagine having about another human being, including hatred, is something one twin can feel for another.

i'd say jealousy is probably almost universal among twins, it's just that some people feel it often while others feel it rarely and/or try to avoid thinking about it because it grates against their mutual closeness.

melis

@karrrren The number of R's in your name lead me to fear you are a Star Wars Expanded Universe-style clone, not a twin at all, à la Joruus C'baoth and Luuke Skywalker.

melis

My kingdom and my heart will go to the first 'Pinner who likes that comment.

melis

@melis Very well; I will remain alone.

karrrren

@melis i'm not star warsy enough to know precisely what you mean, but i will note that i have way more sympathy for clones in fiction than i assume most people do.

area@twitter

@melis I hauled my diseased carcass from my Nyquil-induced coma just to let you know that there are others among us who have read and loved the Thrawn Trilogy.

ELECTROMAGNETIC CHAOS

@melis: The Zahn books? You really do read a lot.

edit: beat by area

melis

BLESS YOU BOTH

Speaking of cake, I have cake

All this talk about near-identical or 87% identicaL has really opened my eyes - I never realised there were different levels of identicalness! Whenever I've met identical twins I've usually noticed the kite subtle differences between them, and been able to tell them apart even if they have the same hair etc. I assumed all twins were like that and never understood these stories of twins secretly dating the same person cos I felt sure the datee would be able to tell. But maybe I've only encountered identical twins that are not fully identical? Are there any who are so identical that going on face alone no-one would be able to tell them apart?

(Not MKA anyway, as I learned above!)

thebestjasmine

@skyandgorse Well, technically, there's only identical and fraternal -- in the twin context, identical just means that you came out of one egg that divided as opposed to two eggs, so you have the exact same genetic material (more or less). I think all identical twins have minor differences and don't look exactly alike, and their families and people who know them well can always tell them apart.

Ophelia

@thebestjasmine Yep - even if you only come out of one egg, your DNA mutates as you grow - starting when you're an embryo. So by the time you're born (not to mention grow up), there are already differences in the way your genes are expressed.*

*not a scientist, so hoping I've got the gist right, even if I'm not properly talking about gene expression.

miwome

Can I just say: re: that last pair of twins with the inner lip tattoos, that Cole should really look into getting Christopher's haircut.

KeLynn

TWINS NEVER GET JEALOUS OF EACH OTHER THEY ONLY HAVE MADCAP ADVENTURES.

Pocket Witch

People keep asking my sister and me if we're twins. We finish each other's sentences and frequently speak in perfect unison without meaning to. Difficult to tell how much of that is spending a lot of time with each other vs PSYCHIC POWERS.

Also, the third-to-last picture in the slideshow, the one with the two little boys at the kitchen table, I want that t-shirt. You know the one I mean.

Decca

@comedy_of_customs It's the same with me and my sister! We'll often speak in unison, or I'll be thinking about something odd and she'll start to talk about it. A lot of it must come from our upbringing and the fact we spent a buttload of time in each other's company, but I think also...magic sibling mindreading?

Decca

TIA AND TAMARA.

Decca

@melis GO HOME, ROGER.

Tropical Iceland

My psychologist told me that a lot of times twins will end up with nearly opposite psychological profiles, due to the way they develop in the womb I guess. Any twins care to back this up? I have a twin brother and I think this explains why I have ADD and he's always been a perfect, organized student. Come to think of it, we're on nearly opposite medication.

Nerdalie

@Tropical Iceland I'm an identical twin and we were/are never jealous of each other. While we're very close, we always wanted to be independent and didn't enjoy dressing the same or being confused for each other. Our school split us into separate classrooms, which I think helped us find our own identities. While my sister and I have very similar senses of humor, our taste in men, clothes, furniture, etc. are pretty different.

My sister has had anxiety issues since childhood, while I mostly didn't until adulthood (a fear of flying, which stemmed from a scary flight... so maybe not the same anyway). I've always wondered if it was because of nature or nurture.

VodouDoll

One of my best friends is an identical twin. I'd known her for a few years before I met her sister and it was a little weird. Like, looking at them side-by-side I can see that they're obviously identical, but at the same time, somehow they look nothing alike to me. I would never mix them up. Maybe it's because of different personalities/facial expressions/body language or something?

I did ask her once if they ever pulled a twin switch, and she looked at me like I was insane. She never read Sweet Valley High.

Ultraviolet

I'm an identical twin. When we were growing up, a lot of people didn't realize that there were two of us, and they thought we were just really into fashion and would have diva outfit changes throughout the day. After high school, we went our separate ways and haven't talked since (ISSUES, guys). A decade later, it turns out that we both ended up as scientists working on related topics. Ha, not as different as we thought!

yarabollocks

Three twin stories no one will read in an old thread:

1. I teach 11 year old identical triplets and it took me a while to tell them apart, though now I think they don't look *that* alike. It's funny, they are really independent and HATE being mistaken for one another, but on the other hand they dress almost exactly alike (each girl has her own color scheme - they'll wear the same outfits, but in a different color).

2. I'm 3.5 years older than my sister and (IMO) we don't look that alike, but whenever we're traveling together in the US (dunno why it's only there) people constantly ask us if we are twins. When we worked together at the same place, in different shifts, people actually thought we were one person. Also, we do have a weird tendency to meet up out of the blue and find out we're both wearing almost the exact same outfit.

3. My boyfriend has a twin sister, and they couldn't be more different, personality wise. They grew up with a... not great... dad and each one reacted to the other side of an extreme - she's super absent minded and isn't really aware of anything around her, while he's hyper-aware of EVERYTHING around him. In any case, they're close - but not as close as same-sex twins would be I assume.

superdreaming

My brother and I were born on the same day three years apart (I'm almost 21, he's almost 18) and people still get confused about whether or not we're twins. It was worse when we were little and had birthday parties together - how did people not notice the difference between a toddler and an infant?? Anyway I know we don't count as twins but we do have great sibling-telepathy and I feel like having the same birthday gives us some sort of ~psychic connection~ because we really both can tell when the other is hurt/upset and tend to have the exact same thought/speech patterns.

Chantytown

I'm an identical twin. I don't think we're jealous of each other, we don't tend to covet what the other has because, usually, it feels like a success or failure for us both. I don't think I've ever, as an adult, looked at my twin and felt upset with her because she had something I wanted. We tend to buy each other a lot of stuff or one of us will pay for dinner and we don't really keep track since we think it'll even out on it's own.

We're very close. We work together. We live 2 train stops away from each other. We usually meet up on our way to work so we can chat before getting to the office then typically take our break together.

I think there are rules to dating a twin. Don't get in the middle of their arguments. It can be a bit of a package deal with us since we're close. If one of them is single you can expect a third wheel from time to time. When I was seeing a guy and my twin wasn't he got us tickets to a band we both liked for Valentine's day and he jokingly called her "Second Wife" because we hung out so often. Now that I'm single and she's in a relationship her boyfriend got us tickets for a concert as a Christmas present.

There is a high empathy factor and a lot of non-verbal communication that goes on. We can look at each other and know what the other is trying to express but that's just based on years of reading each other. If someone hurts/betrays me she's pretty much hardened against them for life even if I decide to soften. Someone could insult me and I couldn't care less but if they said something hurtful to her I would want to end them.

In conclusion, twins are weird/awesome.

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