Born with the same DNA, identical twins go on to develop both astounding similarities and staggering differences. This ground-breaking film meets some amazing human pairs.
More twins are being born now than ever before. And our understanding of these natural anomalies has never been better. This programme opens the door to the secret and intriguing world of twins. It explores the stories of twins who share some amazingly similar characteristics, like school girls Millie and Daisy who like the same subjects at school and get near identical exam results. This characteristic, shared by many twins, has led scientists to conclude that two thirds of our intelligence is inherited through our DNA. But scientists have also discovered that twins enhance this synchronicity before birth, through their shared experience in the womb. What happens when twins are brought up miles apart?
The programme meets Anais Bordier, a Korean girl adopted at birth by a French family. She found out she had a twin, actress Samantha Futerman, by chance when watching a video on You Tube. Despite spending 26 years growing up in different countries, miles apart, the girls were surprised by how alike they were – from their tastes and interests through to their personalities.
The film also discovers how twins can be born identical but grow up to become very different people – like twins Brenda and Aidan. Born Brenda and Bonnie in the 1960s, Bonnie told her sister she was a lesbian when she was in her 20s and later went on to have a sex change to become Aidan.
Finally the programme explores the impact of the remarkable life-long bond between twins through the story of 81-year-old DJs Peter and Paul who, in their entire lives, have only ever spent two weeks apart. Such a unique connection helps twins live on average two years longer than other people.
These remarkable stories shed light not only on what it means to be a twin, but also on what it means to be human
BBC Earth is on Starhub Channel 407.