This Indian village has 220 pairs of twins. Know the mystery behind!, Malappuram
Is it true that you could find your doppelganger somewhere in the world? Sometimes certain news hits us so hard that the next obvious thing we do is give serious thought, out of sheer dismay. Among the most mysterious things happening in the world, the news of 220 sets of twins growing up in a village in India is very amazing.
Doctors in India are racking their brains to solve the riddle of more than 220 twins born into 2,000 families in the remote village of Kodinhi in Kerala. Experts wonder about the unusual phenomenon of twin births which is almost six times higher than the world average.
In 2008, 300 women gave birth to healthy babies, and of these deliveries, 15 sets of twins were born in the village. According to the population census, 60 sets of twins were born in the past five years in Kodinhi village. Apparently, the twin rate is increasing year on year and is expected to break previous records in 2017!
Dr. Krishnan Sribiju, a Kerala-based physician who has a natural interest in studying the science behind the birth of twins, has been trying for two years to delve into the mystery of the large number of twin births in Kodinhi. He is of the opinion that the actual number of twins in the village is higher than what has been officially recorded in the newspapers.
“According to my medical opinion, there are around 300 to 350 twins within the limits of Kodinhi village,” says Dr Sribiju.
He also adds, “What is fascinating is the increasing number of twins year by year, so much so that I feel that over the past 10 years, the number of twins in Kodinhi has double.”
Villagers say the incidences of giving birth to twins started three generations ago. Expressing his excitement at the medical significance of the ever-increasing number of twins case, Dr Sribiju says, “As far as I know, this medical marvel started 60 to 70 years ago.
According to him, the possible reason behind the twins phenomenon could be the food and drinks taken by the villagers. “Without access to detailed biochemical analysis equipment, I cannot say for sure what the reason for the pairing is, but I think it has something to do with what the villagers eat and drink,” says Dr Sribiju .
He added that if he thinks on the right track with his assumptions, the factors that cause so many twin births can be capped and used to benefit infertile people. He, however, ruled out genetic circumstances or any unknown pollutants as a possible reason for the localized nature of the village.
“Given the low number of twin births in India, and even more so in Asia, it is surprising to see an Indian village harboring an overwhelming number of twins. Global twin birth rates, especially in the Western world, have increased due to artificial insemination. Also, twins are usually born to older, more mature women. In Kodinhi, this is not the case because marriage occurs much earlier here, around 18-20 years old, and families start very soon after,” says Dr. Sribiju.
Shedding light on another important cause behind the birth of twins, he said that normally women who are less than 5 feet 3 inches tall give birth to twins. Kodinhi women, however, have an average height of 5 feet.
The people of Kodinhi, which is now dubbed the “Twin Town”, proudly established the Twins and Kin Association (TAKA) to register and provide support to Kodinhi twins and their families. Since the cost of raising twins can be high and carrying them can be physically demanding work for the mother, TAKA can play the role of educating and supporting the villagers.
The Kodinhi twins have some interesting stories to tell.
“When I was in primary school, I was with about 30 to 40 other twins,” says 16-year-old Anu Bhaskaran, the son of TAKA’s chairman. Her mischievous brother Abhi also enjoys the benefit of having a twin brother as he gets many opportunities to cheat on friends and teachers. Of course, since there are plenty of identical twins in Kodinhi under the age of 20, the possibilities for pranks widen.
“We always find that the teachers mix us up,” says Shahala, 5, who attends the local primary school in Kodinhi. His sister Shahana adds, “Sometimes when we feel mean, we try to swap courses to confuse people’s minds.”
Meanwhile, Dr Sribiju tries to find enough evidence to solve the puzzle behind the huge twin births in the beautiful hamlet of Kodinhi.