Double the Love: Exploring the Unique Bond Between Twins
We often hear about the special connection twins have in their relationships with each other. Most often, they like the same activities, same style of clothes, same kinds of food, and even have the same sort of personality and sense of humor. Naturally, this creates a special kind of love between twins, a bond that leads to them spending much of their time together and being highly involved in each other’s lives. This kind of love is so unique that it’s been celebrated with the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio since 1976, where thousands of twins descend upon the city from all over the U.S. to honor the love that is like no other. While it’s clear these siblings love each other very much, are they really connected in a deeper or more psychic way than the rest of us? What does the science say?
Identical twins are literally identical because they come from the same egg. This means they have the same genes. On a biological level, they’re the same person, and you can’t get much closer to someone than yourself. In contrast, fraternal twins arise from different eggs, and so their similarities aren’t as great. Still, twins say their uncanny connection allows them to finish each other’s sentences and know what they’re thinking and need even before it’s expressed. Skeptics say those kinds of moments arise out of shared experience and not a special psychological connection because most people can recall such situations with their spouses or best friends.
As unique as twins are, there is surprisingly little research on their special connection, but what does exist is compelling enough to merit further investigation.
There are also many anecdotal accounts of twin psychic connection that are difficult if not impossible to explain away.
In 2009, teenager, Gemma Houghton, was at home and suddenly got the overwhelming urge to check on her sister, Leanne, who was upstairs taking a bath. When she opened the door, Gemma found Leanne had slipped under the water after having had a seizure. Gemma was able to revive her with CPR. A Texas man experienced severe chest pain at the very moment his twin brother was having a heart attack in New York. After breaking her ankle, a girl’s twin sister experienced swelling in the same uninjured ankle.
The connections aren’t just physical. Of two teenage boys, one twin played soccer, while the other took guitar lessons. After several months, the soccer twin picked up the guitar and could play nearly as well as his brother without having taken lessons. A mother of twin boys was going to pick up one of her sons at their grandmother’s house. Her other son riding in the car insisted that his mother tell his brother to put his clothes on. At the house, the grandmother admitted that the other twin refused to take off his pajamas and get dressed because he thought it was too cold. The boys were 4-years-old at the time. An informal survey from the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London adds some weight to this phenomenon. When 10,000 twins were asked, “Do you have the ability to know what is happening with your twin when you are not there?” 54% said yes or possibly, while 46% said no. Interestingly, twice as many identical twins as fraternal twins said yes. Providing more proof that twins might be on the same wavelength, a study published in the journal, Science, showed that alpha brain waves induced in one twin were naturally reproduced in the other.
Twin researcher, Guy Playfair, describes his book, Twin Telepathy: The Psychic Connection, several experiments he conducted on TV where he placed one twin in a soundproof booth and the other in a room some distance away, connected to a polygraph machine or lie detector to measure respiration, heart rate, muscle and skin responses. When the twin in the booth unknowingly plunged his hand into a bucket of ice cold water, the other twin’s polygraph immediately registered excited respiration. The same reaction happened when a twin in the booth was startled by a small paper box that burst into a flurry of harmless sparks and disintegrated.
Of course, others say this is all just coincidence, but to “coincide” actually means “to occupy the same relative position”. Twins, in fact, do occupy the exact same biological situation or position and perhaps that’s why this phenomenon exists. Maybe even coincidence is just more proof that twins share a special kind of connection and love.
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