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The Twin Bond
Telopathy or coincidence?
They finish each other's sentences. They have their own language. They are identical or fraternal twins, and either look alike or not at all, but in either case seem to have a unique bond that cannot be understood by those of us that do not happen to be or have a twin. Just how deep does that bond go? Are there real cases of twin telepathy? Or is it merely coincidence?
We have all heard the stories where one twin is hurt or injured in some way and the other twin who happens to be hundreds of miles away feels pain in the exact spot of the injury at the exact time. Or twins that are separated at birth and adopted by different families meet up with each other years later and find that they have the same choice in clothing or hairstyles. In identical twins this seems logical as they share the same genetic makeup, but what about fraternal twins? Their genetic makeup is no more alike than siblings born apart, yet fraternal twins have been known to experience at least some of the ESP like behavior of their identical counterparts.
One survey by Dr Lynn Cherkus, genetic analyst-department for twin research of King's College in London, shows that of identical twins, one in five had experienced telepathy of some form and of fraternal twins, one in ten had reported a telepathic experience.
Even when separated, twins appear to know what each other is experiencing when there is no logical explanation for this.
In 2009 there was a story in the news about a set of 15 year old fraternal twins, Leanne and Gemma Houghton. Leanne suffered from epileptic seizures and had been in the bathtub too long when Gemma felt something was wrong and burst into the bathroom to find her sister unconscious. Due to the intuition of her twin, Leanne's life was spared. Although they are fraternal, according to their mother they have always been inseparable.
In the 1987 Rosambeau Survey, questionnaires where completed by 600 sets of twins or parents of twins. Some of the questions where in regard to “any experience which might be explained as being able to read each other’s minds” and “Have you ever been surprised by both of you having the same illness or pain at the same time?” Just over 30% or 183 people replied in the affirmative to at least one of these questions. Source: Lyon Playfair’s Twin Telepathy==2002.
In one experiment on telepathy in twins, one twin was hooked up to a polygraph while the other was out of sight or ear shot in another room. The polygraph showed a dramatic increase in heart rate and respiration just as the twin in the other room had plunged his hand into a bucket of ice cold water and gasped. In another similar experiment, one was asked to open a box expecting something pleasant when out popped a rubber snake causing him to startle with fright. At the exact moment his twin who was hooked up to the polygraph showed the pulse line on the chart jump up.
Despite all the compelling evidence, scientists say that twin telepathy has not been proven and there are skeptics who will chalk it all up to coincidence. Dr Nancy Segal, a former co-director of the twin research program at the University of Minnesota states "the bottom line is that I feel there's no evidence for ESP in twins".
Evidence or none, I have taken great interest in the subject of twin telepathy and the twin bond since becoming the mother of twin girls, just over 6 and a half years ago. Although I am no scientist, the things I have witnessed between my twin girls have been phenomenal. I will describe a couple of these: I used to have them wear matching clothes, although they are fraternal and look nothing alike, until last year when they fought me on it so I gave in. When my husband I took them shopping for shoes one day they insisted on going to opposite ends of the shoe store so they could each pick out their own shoes, stating, "I don't want to match with her (meaning her twin)". While my husband took one twin, and I took the other they each picked out their shoes. When we met up at the checkout they were slightly upset to find that they had both picked out identical pairs of shoes. They quickly got over it and dissolved in giggles while my husband and myself were still in shock of the whole thing. Last year in Kindergarten, they were both required to take a spelling test which neither one had studied for. I didn't expect them to get many words correct, but I never would have guessed that they would both only miss one word out of ten and both missed the same exact word though they sat on opposite ends of the classroom. Even their teacher was a little taken aback by it.
Is this evidence of twin telepathy? Maybe not, but one would have to agree that the twin bond is a strange and powerful thing that supersedes the natural and toys with the supernatural. Maybe one day science will catch up to what twins and parents of twins already know.