Why Do Identical Twins Exist? Scientists Bring an Answer

Why Do Identical Twins Exist? Scientists Bring an Answer

Science has managed to uncover a lot of secrets of the world over the years. But finding out why identical twins exist was still a mystery. But it may be not anymore, as Dutch scientists are ready to offer a pretty compelling explanation, according to The Guardian.

If the zygote, meaning the fertilized egg, splits into two embryos that share the exact same genes, that’s when the identical twins form. But the reason behind the split wasn’t known to science, and researchers simply assumed that the biological process is purely random. Now, the new study contradicts the idea.

Common signature on the DNA was found

The scientists observed the epigenetic modifications in the DNA of the twins. The conclusion was that identical twins share similar marks at 834 points from their genome.

The shared marks can allow scientists to figure out with high accuracy if someone is an identical twin.

However, it’s still not sure if the chemical marks of the DNA are the cause of the conceiving of identical twins or it’s the outcome of the twinning process itself.

The new research was published in Nature Communications.

There are a lot of fun facts about twins, and Twins.org.au has an interesting list. Here are some of the facts:

  • Identical twins have different fingerprints.
  • Twins can have different birthdays, and the longest gap is 63 days.
  • Women who gave birth to twins live longer.
  • Identical twins can develop different diseases.
  • Nigeria has the most identical twins and also the highest rate of multiple births.
  • Once someone has one set of non-identical twins, that person will be 3 to 4 times more likely to have another set.
  • Twins can start interacting in the womb at 14 weeks.
  • It is even possible for twins to not have the same dad.

Are you also amazed? Let us know your opinion in the comment section!


Jeffrey likes to write about health and fitness topics, being a champion fitness instructor in the past.

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