Conjoined twins are two identical babies connected at a specific point of the body. Science suggests that conjoined twins form when an embryo partially separates instead of entirely splitting.

The first documented case of conjoined twins was in 1811, and the pair of brothers called themselves “Siamese twins.” The men lived to the age of 63 and showcased their oddity in traveling exhibitions. As history documented the first occurrences of conjoined twins, society treated them as side-show attractions. It is only recently that we’ve stopped discriminating against conjoined twins, and because of this, we now know some pretty fascinating things about them.

1. Conjoined Twins Can Read Each Other’s Thoughts

Okay, not all conjoined twins, but this is true in the case of Tatiana and Krista Hogan. Tatiana and Krista Hogan were conjoined twin sisters. They were attached at the head, and their brains shared a common connection that gifted them with shocking capabilities. Besides hearing each other’s thoughts, they could control each other’s limbs. The sisters could also see out of each other’s eyes. Still, sharing a brain and thoughts have not affected their individuality.

2. Mostly Females

According to studies, about 70% of conjoined twins are females. Studies suggest that a girl is conceived during a woman’s fertile period, and babies conceived at other times are more than likely a boy.

3. When One Twin Dies, The Other Does Not Survive For Long

When one of the conjoined twins dies, the other one also dies shortly after. Such a case happened with the Krivoshlyapova sisters. When Masha died, the doctors comforted Dasha, telling her that her sister was only sleeping, knowing full well they could do nothing to save Dasha. Eventually, Dasha died because the toxins from Masha’s decomposing body mixed into Dasha’s bloodstream via their shared body part.

4. Identical In Nature

There are two types of twins that can be born; they are fraternal and identical twins. Fraternal twins are twins because two eggs are fertilized during the same pregnancy; they are not identical in looks or gender. Identical twins are twins due to one egg being fertilized and then splits into two babies. Usually, identical twins are of the same gender and have similar physical features.

All conjoined twins are identical because they are formed from a single egg that has separated partially during the initial stages of pregnancy. Conjoined twins are either symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetrical twins have a better survival rate than asymmetrical twins because symmetrical twins have an equal distribution of bodily resources.

5. Mostly Connected by Heart, Liver, And Intestines

The most common places of connection for conjoined twins are the heart, liver, and intestines. Moreover, twins joined at the pelvis, liver, intestine, and genitourinary tract are called ischiopagus twins. When the twins are joined at the brain and meninges, they are called craniopagus pairs.

Conclusion

Cases of conjoined twins occur at a rate of one in 200,000. Unfortunately, they have a very low survival rate. Conjoined twins are such a rare condition that it has no known cure except separation surgery. However, the success rate of the surgery is low and depends significantly on the place of conjoining and which organs are shared. More often than not, the birth of conjoined twins leads to the death of both twins.

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Last Update: June 21, 2023