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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / 10 Amazing Facts About Twins
10 Amazing Facts About Twins
Top 10 things you (probably) didn't know about twins!

1. The scientific study of twins is known as "gemellology." The word twin is probably derived from an ancient German word twine, which means 'two together.'

2.1 in every 32 children born is a twin (1 in 65 pregnancies results in a twin birth). Twins account for 1.5% of all pregnancies or 3% of the population.

3.The twinning rate has risen 50% in the last 20 years. This is attributed to an increase in maternal age, wider use of IVF and assisted conception and advancement of medical technology.

4. Fraternal twins do run in the family but only on the maternal line. If a mother herself is a fraternal twin, the chance of conceiving twins increases four-fold.

5. The rate for identical twins, or monozygotic, multiples is random and universal (no influencing factors) and occurs 1 in every 285 births. They are the same sex, have the same blood types, hair and eye colour, hand and footprints and chromosomes, yet have different teeth marks and fingerprints.

6. Mirror image twins account for about 25% of identical twins. Their hair falls in opposite directions, they have mirror image fingerprints and if one is right handed, the other is left handed.

7. Factors influencing the twinning rate include; Maternal family history of twins, mother's age, maternal height/weight, no. of previous pregnancies, race assisted conception.

8. Twins and multiples have been known to develop their own 'language' that only they understand. This 'twin talk' is known as cryptophasia or idioglossia.

9. The world's oldest twins were Eli Shadrack and John Meshak Phipps born on Feb 14 1803 in Virginia and died at the ages of 108 and 113 respectively. The chances of identical twins surpassing the age of 100 is 1 in 700 million.

10. The Yoruba tribe of Nigeria have the highest twinning rate in the entire world (3 sets of twins in every 19 births). The Nigerian people attribute it to their population's consumption of a specific type of yam. China has the lowest twinning rate with only 1 in 300 pregnancies resulting in a twin birth.

11. Older mothers have a higher chance of fraternal twins, 62% of twins are born to mothers over the age of 30.

12. Did you know that up to 22 percent of twins are left-handed. In the non-twin population the number is just under 10 percent.

13. Twin types and genders are oddly symmetrical. 1/3rd of all twins are identical, 1/3rd are the same sex fraternal and 1/3rd are male/female fraternal. Of the identical twins, half are male/male, and half are female/female. Of the same sex fraternal, half are male/male, and half are female/female.

14. Australia produced the world''s first test-tube twins in June 1981. They are also known for producing the world's first triplets and quadruplets.

15. Worldwide there are at least 125 million living multiples.

I know there ARE more than 10 here but Twins are just so interesting!


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