Are you and your partner expecting identical twins? Are you simply wondering what it would be like to be the proud parents of identical twins? Or perhaps you have a brother or a sister who looks exactly like you.
No matter what your situation is, you could be surprised by these 11 facts about identical twins.
Fact 1: Identical twins don’t always look identical
Identical twins come from the same egg, and they start out with the same DNA blueprints. However, they can go through some genetic changes as they develop in their mother’s womb, which means they can end up looking a little different from one another. Identical twins don’t always look identical, and they can also have different weights and lengths at birth.
Fact 2: Identical twins can develop in different placentas
Identical twins happen because an egg splits in two. Many identical twins share the same placenta, but it’s not always the case. If the egg splits early, each of the two embryos will develop inside its own placenta. If the egg splits later during development, the two embryos will probably share the same placenta.
Fact 3: Identical twins don’t have the same fingerprints
Identical twins don’t have identical fingerprints, even if they both look identical. The patterns of fingerprints are not only based on DNA. Identical twins start out with identical fingerprints, but their patterns can change during pregnancy, depending on how their fingers touch their amniotic sac. So identical twins can look alike, but have totally different fingerprints.
Fact 4: Identical twins can be of different sexes
On very rare occasions, identical twins can be of different sexes. This happens when a genetic mutation occurs during their development, which means there will be a male twin, and a female twin with Turner Syndrome. Turner Syndrome is a genetic condition in which a female is missing an X chromosone, and it comes with different symptoms.
Fact 5: Identical twins can be mirror twins
Some identical twins can be mirror images of one another. For example, a birthmark or a dimple could be found on the left side of one twin’s face, and on the right side of the other one’s face. One twin could be left-handed, while the other one could be right-handed. It’s a bit easier to tell identical twins apart if they happen to be mirror twins!
Fact 6: Identical twins have similar brainwave patterns
Many people think that identical twins are able to communicate telepathically. Although this is probably not true, it has been proven that they do have almost identical brainwave patterns. This means that the way they think, and the way they perceive things is almost identical, which could explain why they are often able to finish each other’s sentences.
Fact 7: Identical twins have distinct personalities
Even though they look alike and can have a lot of things in common, identical twins have distinct personalities. Just like any siblings will, they will develop their own individual character over time depending on their environment, their experiences, their thoughts, their beliefs, their values, and the friends they surround themselves with.
Fact 8: Identical twins will be similar even if they are separated from a young age
Identical twins have distinct personalities, but they still often share many character traits. A study done in Minnesota has shown that even when identical twins are separated from a young age, and grow up in different environments, they can still end up sharing some similar character traits and personal preferences.
Fact 9: Identical twins will suffer from different illnesses
While identical twins can be struggling with the same genetic disorders, it doesn’t mean that they will suffer from all the same illnesses during their life. Their immune systems will develop differently due to environmental factors, so a disease or a health issue that affects one twin will not necessarily affect the other twin.
Fact 10: The chances of having identical twins are slim
If you would like to have identical twins, you would need a lot of luck. It’s estimated that about 1 in 250 pregnancies will end up with identical twins, although the birth rate of identical twins varies from one country to another. No one can really explain why this is the case, and identical twins birth rates remain a mystery.
Fact 11: The chances of having identical twins doesn’t increase with age
You might have heard that older women have more chances of giving birth to twins because they can produce more than one egg per cycle. But since identical twins come from the same egg, older women don’t have more chances of giving birth to identical twins than younger ones.
However, they do have more chances of giving birth to fraternal twins, which are twins that come from two different eggs, and don’t share the same DNA blueprints.