Twin town: The Indian village where there are 220 sets of twins has doctors baffled.
1. Medical mystery: A Kerala village has more than 220 pairs of twins.
2. What's going on in this tiny village is Creepy. The village of Kodinhi has one of the highest birth rates of twins in the world.
Hoax or Fact:
The story talks about a medical mystery in a Kerala village called Kodinhi, where there are more than 220 sets of Twins that seems to have baffled doctors. Let us find out the detailed facts about this interesting phenomenon.
The Mystery of Twin Town
Kodinhi is the village in Malappuram district of Kerala in South India, where as of 2008, there are around 250 pairs of twins (also includes few Triplets) born to a population of 2,000 families, and surprisingly, the twinning rate seems to be rising every year. On a worldwide scale, there would be about six twins per 1,000 live births, however in the remote village of Kodinhi; the twinning rate is six times the global average. In 2008 alone, out of 300 healthy deliveries 15 pairs of twins were born in the village.
India has one of the lowest twinning rates in the world, but Kodinhi village with its unusually large number of twins has gathered international attention and baffled doctors. Dr. Krishnan Sribiju, a local doctor and twin enthusiast has been studying the marvelous medical phenomenon of Kodinhi for few years. According to him, the twinning in Kodinhi began about 60 to 70 years ago, and the number of twinning rate there is around 45 per 1,000 births.
In 2011, Nat Geo TV held a Twin Health Camp in the Kodinhi village in order to delve deeper into the twin town of Kodinhi and discover the source of the unusual twin explosion (video shown in this article). Kodinhi has also set up the Twins and Kin Association (TAKA), the first such association of twins in India, to register and provide support for the twins and their families.
The unusual twinning rate in Kodinhi village of Kerala is speculated and attributed to various factors like what the people eat and drink, and genetic science. It is to be noted that people in Kodinhi practice intermarriage between family members. Genetic science says that people who are twins themselves have greater chances of producing twins.
In Sao Pedro Village of Brazil
A similar, unusual twinning rate was observed from 1990 to 1994 in Sao Pedro, a village of about 350 residents in Brazil, when 10 percent of the births were twins -- compared to less than 1 percent in Brazil as a whole (see last picture in Image Gallery). Disclosing the mystery, a geneticist in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Ursula Matte said that a series of DNA tests done on about 30 families since 2009 found a specific gene in those mothers who gave birth to twins. Moreover, a high level of inbreeding among the population composed almost entirely of German-speaking immigrants is attributed to the unusual outcome.
When two people having twin’s history in their ancestry are married the probability of them producing twins as children, grandchildren, or great grand children is more. Somewhat similar to Brazil case, people in Kodinhi, where majority of the residents are Sunni Muslims, practice intermarriage between family members. So genetic reasons and family intermarriage customs seem to be the reasons behind unusual twinning rate in Kodinhi village of Kerala, India. There are so many twins in the Kodinhi village that 'sometimes when we are feeling naughty we try and swap classes to confuse people,' says twin sisters Shahana.