Twins have always been fascinating to non-twins. The way they seem to finish each other’s sentences and try so hard to be different from each other is pretty fun to watch. They’ve also been subject to a bunch of studies that look at how much of our personality and traits are due to our genetics versus our environment. There a lot of incredible stories about twins, but some of the most fascinating ones are about twins who were separated at birth and ended up reuniting later in life. Often, these long lost twins find that they’re actually eerily similar to each other. Read on to be amazed.
15 Samantha Futerman and Anais Bordier
Imagine that one day you’re just chilling, watching some YouTube videos, when you come across someone in a video that looks exactly like you. Your first thought might be that doppelgängers really do exist. But, if you knew you had a twin and that they were adopted, you just might be thinking that maybe you finally found your long lost relative. This is exactly what happened to Anais Bordier, a French student studying fashion in the UK. After researching the girl in the YouTube video that was a mirror-image of herself, she found out that her name is Samantha Futerman and she’s an actress living in America. The interesting part was that she was born in the same city as Anais, on the same day. Anais reached out to her potential twin on Facebook and they began to speak to each other and even reunited. A DNA test confirmed that the two indeed are identical twins. You can watch their story in the documentary, Twinsters.
14 Jack Yufe and Oskar Stohr
Jack Yufe and Oskar Stohr were separated at birth when their parents divorced. Jack was raised as a Jewish in Trinidad while Oskar was raised in Germany where he joined the Nazi movement. The two didn’t meet until they were 21, but when they did, they were weirded out by how similar they were. In fact, they were the first twins to join what would become one of the largest studies on twins, the Minnesota Twin Family Study. They were particularly interesting to researchers because their environments were so different. So what similarities did they have, despite growing up in different places? Well, when they first met, they were wearing identical jackets and had receding hairlines. They also both had the same loud sneeze and neither would use a toilet without flushing it first.
13 Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert
When their single mother killed herself, twins Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert, were adopted into separate British homes. It wasn’t until they were 40 years old that they reunited and realized that their life experiences were unbelievably similar. They both left school at the same age, worked in the local government, met their husbands at the same age, miscarried the same month and even gave birth to the same sexes (two boys and a girl). If that isn’t strange enough, they also both drink their coffee cold, have heart murmurs and use the same brand of products. Even their personalities are strikingly similar. It really makes you wonder how it’s possible that there are so many coincidences in their lives (or if this is something beyond mere coincidence).
12 Elizabeth Hammel and Ann Hunt
We hear so many stories of twins reuniting after many years when they’re adults. But, there’s one pair who went almost their entire lives without meeting each other. Ann Hunt and Elizabeth Hammel met for the first time at the age of 78 in 2014, setting a Guinness World Record for the longest gap on record. Up until 2013, Ann had no idea that she had a sibling, unlike Elizabeth who attempted to search for her long lost twin with no success. It was Ann’s daughter, Samantha, who loved to investigate family trees and after Ann requested to find out more about her birth family, Samantha made it her mission. A breakthrough came and they found out about Elizabeth. So, Ann wrote Elizabeth a letter and minutes after the letter was read, the two were on the phone. They, like many other twins, found out that they had a lot in common. They both married men named Jim and they both like acting up in front of cameras.
11 Jim Springer and Jim Lewis
Jim Springer and Jim Lewis are identical twins who were adopted by families that each, coincidentally, named them James. That’s not the only coincidence in their lives, though. In fact, there are so many, that they practically had the same life. Both were aware that they had a twin but Springer was told that his twin had died at birth. Lewis, on the other hand, wasn’t even interested in finding his twin. Thankfully, he had a change of heart and decided to track down his twin. When they began talking, they realized that there were some freaky coincidences between their lives. Both had childhood dogs named “Toy,” both were married twice (to women with the same names), they even drove the same brand of car and chain-smoked, too! However, they do recognize that there are differences, too, perhaps as a result of one living in the country and one living in the city.
10 Adriana Scott and Tamara Rabi
It’s like something straight out of a movie: twins separated at birth, they have no idea about each other but end up going to the same school and finally reunite. Yes, this actually happened in real life to twin sisters, Adrianna Scott and Tamara Rabi. One day, a mutual acquaintance spotted one of the twins and couldn’t believe their eyes. After asking a few questions, things started to come together. Tamara and Adriana were shocked to say the least. But, they quickly became friends (because who wouldn’t want to be best friends with their long lost twin?) and realized that they have a lot of similar interests. For example, they both love dancing and grew up in the New York area. They’re actually surprised that they didn’t meet earlier.
9 Unnamed Spanish Twins
Most twins separated at birth were separated intentionally (in most cases, their parents put them up for adoption knowing that they could be separated). But, this story about unnamed Spanish twins was a total accident. Basically, the twins were born in a hospital in Gran Canaria, but the hospital switched one of them with the baby of another family! Then, one day a friend of one of the twins was working (as a sales assistant) in a store when the other twin walked in. When the sales assistant tried to greet her with a kiss (thinking it was her friend), the customer refused. The sales assistant called up her actual friend who assured her that she wasn’t at the store. When the other twin came back into the store a few days later (thankfully she wasn’t creeped out by the attempted kiss), the sales assistant friend arranged a meeting between the twins.
8 Siam and Fabienne
It seems that with social media, more and more people are discovering their long lost relatives. In 2014, Siam, who at the time was a 21-year old aspiring restaurateur, discovered her twin after her friend’s older sister spotted a woman on Facebook that looked exactly like her. Siam decided to add the woman, Fabienne, but she ignored it as she thought that it was someone trying to hack her Facebook account. But, the two eventually began messaging one another and found out that they had the same birthdays and blood types. Finally, Siam suggested that maybe they were twins. The two reunited soon after and cried when they first saw each other in the flesh. The reason that they didn’t know about each other’s existence was because the doctors had hidden it from their adoptive families.
7 Unnamed twins that married each other
Most twins that are separated at birth have a fascinating, yet somewhat predictable reunion story to tell. They typically end up meeting each other either by chance or by intentional effort and becoming good friends. However, one set of twins has a story that no one could have predicted would happen. The two actually met each other and fell in love (not knowing that they were brother and sister) and got married! It wasn’t until weeks after their wedding date that they found out the truth about their relationship to each other and quickly got an annulment. Chris Atkins, a member of the organization Adults Affected by Adoption says that twins that are separated may be attracted to each other because of a phenomenon called genetic sexual attraction.
6 Jorge and Carlos Castro and William and Wilber Velasco
This is another story about a hospital mixing up babies, but this one is really spectacular, because the four people involved eventually met each other. When Jorge Castro’s colleague visited a meat shop one day, she was in shock at how similar the butcher, William, looked to her colleague. She later showed a photo of William to Jorge, who was astonished. The story got even better from there because they soon discovered that William’s brother, Wilber, looked exactly like Carlos. Basically, each pair of brothers was raised as fraternal twins (although they were actually unrelated biologically) but was living, unknowingly, apart from their (biological) identical twin. At first, when Wilber realized they were swapped he said that he didn’t care who the other two are and that William will always be his brother. However, when they all met, they let their walls down and decided to be four brothers. You can read their full story here.
5 Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein
Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein were separated at birth when their mentally ill mother put them up for adoption. They were part of a secret and now controversial study in which a renowned psychologist had convinced an adoption agency to send twins to different homes so that they could be studied to assess the influence of nature versus nurture. After New York made it a requirement for adoption agencies to keep twins together, the head of the study decided that the study would be controversial so he had its data locked away at Yale University until 2066. However, Paula and Elyse eventually found each other, 35 years after they were separated. They wanted to meet up with the man who led the study and eventually he granted them an interview, but didn’t apologize for separating them, as they hoped he would. The twins wrote a book about their story called Identical Strangers, which as you may have figured out, discusses their striking similarities, both mentally and physically.
4 Emilie Falk and Lin Backman
Emilie Falk and Lin Backman were both adopted from an orphanage in Semaramg, Indonesia by Swedish couples. Their documents did not suggest that they had a twin, but the taxi driver who drove Blackman’s parents from the orphanage asked, “What about the other one, the sister?” This prompted the parents to write down the girls’ names and track down the Falks. But, the two families came to the conclusion that the girls were not related after seeing that the name of their father did not match on their documents and the name of their mother must have been an error. Eventually, they lost touch. However, when Emilie grew older and got married, she began wondering about her roots again and found Lin. They did a DNA test in 2011 which confirmed that the two were indeed twins. Interestingly, on one of the adoption papers, it states that their father is a taxi driver and they can’t help but wonder if it was the same taxi driver that drove Blackman’s parents from the orphanage.
3 Debbie Mehlman and Sharon Poset
Twins Debbie Mehlman and Sharon Poset are yet another pair of twins that spent decades apart (four and a half decades, to be exact), but reunited to discover that they were shockingly similar. They were separated because their birth mother thought she was only having one baby (since they didn’t do tests back then) so she gave one away to a family and when the other came, she gave her away to another family. The sisters found each other with the help of a private investigator and when they finally reunited, they found out that they both studied social work, share common interests, have the same facial expressions, hand gestures, voice and even finish each other’s sentences. Can you imagine how creepy but cool that would be?
2 Anna Kandl and Ella Cuares
Anna Kandl and Ella Cuares were abandoned by their parents at birth in China in 2006. Apparently, one was found at a park and the other was found at the hospital doorstep. Their adoptive parents met during the adoption referral process and decided to keep in touch over Facebook when Karen (who adopted Anna) noticed that their birth dates were the same and suspected that the girls might be twins. As the girls grew older, their parents couldn’t help but notice their similarities in terms of the way they looked and acted. A DNA test confirmed Karen’s suspicions: the girls were fraternal twins. Anna and Ella reunited in 2013 and became friends quickly. It’s a good thing that Karen was paying attention to the details!
1 Zeng Yong and Liu Yonggang
When Huang Yong was having dinner at a restaurant one evening, he spotted someone who looked exactly like his friend, Zeng Yong, who lived nearby. He told the stranger, whose name is Liu Yonggang, about his friend and immediately put the two into contact over the phone. After an hour-long conversation, the look-alikes were surprised to discover that they shared the same birthday. They eventually reunited (41 years after their birth) and tracked down their mother who lived over 1,000 miles away. She had given them up at birth due to poverty and her struggling to care for her other five children. The pair didn’t do any DNA tests because their mother says that there was no need as she recognized the birthmark on Liu’s right arm.
Sources: people.com, nymag.com, psychologytoday.com, bbc.com, firsttoknow.com, cbsnews.com, telegraph.co.uk, thelocal.fr, nydailynews.com, nytimes.com, npr.org, huffingtonpost.com,telegraph.co.uk, today.com, globaltimes.cn