1The Restaurant that Only Employs Twins
If you see the same waitress walking past you twice at a diner in Moscow, you didn't just experience de ja vu; it's actually a restaurant staffed by twins. Twin Stars is a new eatery located in the Russian capital which is manned exclusively by twin brothers and sisters.
We're not quite sure what the attraction is about getting your meals served by twins, but we can only assume that there's a market for it after the launch of this new venture. The owner of the restaurant, Alexei Khodorkovsky, claimed it was one of a kind, which was ironic since there's an identical copy of every staff member.
However, he did admit that it had been difficult to find enough twins that were qualified to work at the bistro.
2The Brazilian City that was Visited by a Nazi Doctor where One in Five Pregnancies Resulted in Twins
Cândido Godói is a municipality of 6,641 inhabitants in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil near the Argentine border, and it's famous for the high number of twins that have been born there. The twin phenomenon is centered in Linha São Pedro, a small settlement in the city of Cândido Godói that is comprised of an ethnically homogeneous population of German descent.
From 1990 to 1994, ten percent of the births in São Pedro were twins, compared to less than one percent in Brazil as a whole.
Soon lots of theories began to appear, and none were more interesting than the possibility that Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death who was responsible for up to 400,000 deaths in sickening medical experiments, was somehow involved.
The German doctor, who evaded capture his entire life, had moved around southern Brazil in the 1960s during the time when the births were believed to have really begun. An Argentine journalist suggested in a 2008 book that Mengele conducted experiments on women in Cândido Godói that resulted in a baby boom of twins, many of whom have blonde hair and blue eyes.
Mengele, who died in Brazil in 1979, was notorious for his often-deadly experiments on twins at Auschwitz in a bid to produce a master Aryan race for Adolf Hitler.
3The PA Kindergarten that has 10 Sets of Twins
A Pittsburgh-area elementary school has a novel way to acclimate its kindergartners to the school experience, but it's not a technique that can be easily shared with other schools.
The fact is that Burchfield Elementary School's brand-new kindergarten class has 10 sets of twins. That means that 20 out of 100 pupils in the Allison Park school's kindergarten program started the year with at least one close friend.
Principal Jeff Rojik claims that kindergartners are often nervous about starting school but says that , so far, with so many twins "it's a nice transition."
But it's not just the kindergarten class. The principal says that the first grade at Burchfield has four sets of twins and one set of triplets. Is there something in the water?
4The Havana Block where 12 Sets of Cuban Twins Live
Cubanos are marveling at an amazing coincidence in a western Havana neighborhood. On two consecutive blocks, 12 sets of twins live alongside each other. The twins range in age from newborns to senior citizens.
At first glance, 68 A-Street doesn't appear to be anything special. Children play ballgames in the streets as tropical music floats through the neighborhood. However, the tranquil scene turns into The Twilight Zone when residents start seeing double.
Ten of the twin sets in the neighborhood are identical, and the other two are fraternal. None of the mothers have undergone fertility treatment, although most said that multiple births run in their extended families. None of the families in the neighborhood are related.
Additionally, all of the twins, except for one pair, were born into the neighborhood. The newcomers, a pair of Spanish twins, moved in after another set of twins moved from the area.
The 70 houses in these two short blocks are home to around 224 people. That works out to about one set of twins per 20 people -- well above the average. Historically, the rate is about one per 80 live births.
Scientists claim that a variety of factors play into twin births, such as race, the mother's age, and diet. Western Africa, where many Afro-Cubans can trace their ancestry, has a significantly elevated rate of twin births.
5The 12 Sets of Twins Who All Graduated from the Same High School Class
In 2012, 12 pairs of high school seniors graduated from one Georgia school. The 24 seniors at Brookwood High in Gwinnett County are a mix of identical and fraternal twins. As unusual as the circumstances are, most of the twins find their situation to be perfectly normal.
Still, it turns out that there's an even larger class of twins at Niles West High School. The Illinois school has 14 sets of twins in its sophomore class alone. The twins there are also a mix of identical and fraternal. Student activities director Jessica Ogulnik gathered the students for a photo. However, she admits that getting them all in place at one time wasn't easy.
6The Proteas Junior Rugby Team that has Five Sets of Twins
A South African junior rugby team has reportedly stunned its opponents, team members, and even its coach by having five sets of twins on its squad. The Pretoria-based Oostelike Eagles club started its newest team in 2013, consisting of mostly seven to nine-year-olds, but it took a while before organizers realized the number of duplicate siblings.
The report said that tackling, passing, and line-out drills are organized chaos in the club since players are unsure as to the identity of their teammates. According to the report, two pairs of twins on the side are identical, two are non-identical, and one of the player's twin sister is the team's water carrier.
Admitting that even he cannot tell any of the twins apart, the coach said that he calls the identical pair "Twins" since he cannot identify either of them.
7The Illinois School that has 23 Sets of Twins in Fifth Grade
An Illinois school with 23 sets of twins in a single grade said that it is seeking Guinness World Record recognition for the class.
Officials at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, IL, north of Chicago, said that the school's fifth grade class has 23 sets of twins, amounting to about 10 percent of the class, breaking the current Guinness World Record of 16 sets which is shared by three schools.
The record was brought to the school's attention when Highcrest fifth-graders Ryan and Luke Novosel, twin brothers, got the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and noticed the record for sets of twins in one grade. The boys said they started counting the twins in their grade and noticed that they might have a record on their hands.
Principal Dave Palzet said that officials have submitted all of the required documentation to Guinness and they are waiting to hear back. He said that he hopes the record will get students interested in books. "Honestly, it's not exactly Pulitzer-winning literature," Palzet said of Guinness. "But if it gets them reading and following through with something like this, it's a good thing."
8The Community in Nigeria Known as the "Land of Twins"
Igbo-Ora, a sleepy farming community in southwest Nigeria, welcomes visitors with a sign proclaiming it as "The Land of Twins." "There is hardly a family here without a set of twins," said community leader Olayide Akinyemi, a 71-year-old father of 12, as he settled a dispute between two neighbors.
The Yoruba present the highest dizygotic twinning rate in the world (4.4% of all maternities). They manifest at 45-50 twin sets (or 90-100 twins) per 1,000 live births, possibly because of high consumption of a specific type of yam containing a natural phytoestrogen which may stimulate the ovaries to release an egg from each side. Twins are very important for the Yoruba and they usually tend to give special names to each twin.
If one twin dies in a Yoruba family, the parents order a wooden figure called an "ibeji" to be carved to take the place of the dead twin. The half soul of the deceased twin is thought to live on in the ibeji figure -- which is clothed, "fed," and carried by a mother in exactly the same way as the living twin.
9The Mother Who Gave Birth to 3 Sets of Twins
Karen Rodger, 41, and husband Colin, 44, were said to be "over the moon" to welcome Rowan and Isla into their family in May 2013 at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.
The couple already have four boys, Lewis and Kyle who are 14-years-old and Finn and Jude who are 12-years-old, and were told that there was a 500,000-1 chance that Mrs. Rodger's third pregnancy result in twins.
The girls, who are not identical, were delivered by caesarean section, with Rowan arriving first and weighing 5lbs 8oz, followed two minutes later by Isla who weighed 6lbs.
10The Restaurant that is Run by Two Identical Couples
People were confused about how a Chinese couple managed to run a busy restaurant 21 hours a day without getting tired. It turns out that the restaurant is run by two couples … and both the men and women are identical twins!
Locals had nicknamed the eatery the "robot couple restaurant" because they couldn't understand how the same couple seemed to be on duty from 6am to 3am. However, a journalist from Today Morning Post interviewed the restaurant owner and found out the truth. It turned out that the twin brothers, 32, married a set of twin sisters from the same township three years ago and moved to Yiwu to run the restaurant together. "Many diners thought we worked too hard and are like robots, but they don't know that we are actually four people," said Mao Zhanghua, 32, the elder brother.