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Science & Technology

Doppelgangers may share DNA as well as looks

By T.K. Randall
August 28, 2022 · Comment icon 8 comments



Just how alike are doppelgangers ? Image Credit: Friedrich Brandseph
Two unrelated individuals who look almost exactly the same may have more in common with one another than previously thought.
A doppelganger is essentially a person who happens to look almost identical to another person despite neither of them being directly related.

Such a coincidence can be quite striking, but now a new study has revealed that people who look like one another may also happen to share genetic and lifestyle traits as well.

To learn more about this phenomenon, scientists worked together with Canadian photographer Francois Brunelle who has spent decades photographing doppelgangers all over the world.
To assess likeness, the team used computer software to analyze the images and found that roughly half of those photographed were so similar that they were deemed "twin-like".

The scientists then conducted a DNA analysis of the pairs and discovered that they shared many genetic similarities, in addition to sharing many other lifestyle characteristics.

The reason for this, the scientists believe, is that - given the number of people alive today - it is not unreasonable to expect some genetic overlap of individuals, even if it is by pure luck.

"Because the human population is now 7.9 billion, these look-alike repetitions are increasingly likely to occur," said geneticist Manel Esteller of the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute.



Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by the13bats 3 months ago
I just had this happen last week at the club i was spinning so mind on music a guy comes up to the booth who out of cornor of eye i thought it was a guy i know who doesnt come out much when i gave him attention i saw it wasnt my friend but the looked alike built alike, acted similar it was a bit weird, he was a close enough match to be a brother  ive thought for years just not deeply that likely a lot of people were distantly related but this new DNA stuff works well.
Comment icon #2 Posted by jethrofloyd 3 months ago
So, Sylvester Stallone and Pope Gregory IX share same DNA.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nnicolette 3 months ago
This seemed obvious.
Comment icon #4 Posted by glorybebe 3 months ago
The creepy thing is I met a girl who was so close in looks, she would get in the bar because they thought she was me...then, he brother asked me out...grossed me out.  Now, saying similar DNA, it's even more messed up
Comment icon #5 Posted by Susanc241 3 months ago
I once came face to face with a young nurse (about 20 to my 32) who looked so much like myself it was spooky.  Taller than me, but facially, hair colour, even our skinny body shapes, startling.  Neither of us said anything, don’t know why.  Earlier in that hospital stay I had been asked what I was doing as a patient thinking I was this nurse so other people noticed the likeness too.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Stiff 3 months ago
Mrs Stiff gets this quite a lot and is often asked if she is indeed directly related to Joseph Merrick.
Comment icon #7 Posted by HollyDolly 3 months ago
Years ago, my dad was in a store, and a couple approached him and told them how much they enjoyed his piano playing and singing. Now my dad was puzzled because he didn't do that as a side job. He later found out that these people went to the Old San Francisco Steakhouse in San Antonio, and the piano player looked like my dad. He had a few people in the past also think he was Sydney Greenstreet the actor. Which was funny as my dad was heavy set, but not as large as Greenstreet. Went one day to the Farmer's Market in New braunfels, and a lady thought I was someone else because I looked just like... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Nnicolette 3 months ago
The funny thing is when it happened to me the girl I was getting mistaken for was also named Nicolette. It was confusing. It's not a very common name.


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