After watching the series ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ I have always wondered if I have a doppelganger in this world.
Is it true that there are seven other people in the world who look exactly like you? If yes, how so?
As there are several ways to analyze this question, you get different answers for each perspective. I like to talk about a study by Teghan Lucas, a student at the University Of Adelaide School Of Medicine. She created a database of 4,000 people to determine if there were duplicates by measuring their body and face.
First, she only used seven facial measurements to see if it was possible to match a minimum of two faces. However, the result of her experiments stated otherwise, as she couldn’t get a good match. To increase the chances, she raised her sample size to eight, only to find out that the chances of finding two people with the same facial structure were highly unlikely, as the figure stood at lower than one out of one trillion. Forensic Science International, a journal, published her study.
According to Lucas, her study had a huge impact because it gave evidence that fingerprints and face and body measurements have the same accuracy to identify criminals. Before her study, using these measurements didn’t hold up in court, as no one could prove that two faces weren’t identical.
Her efforts have made it easier to catch criminals, as the police can use facial measurements to see if it is the same person on video. Lucas, along with her research team, is trying to come up with a technique which would allow them to utilize mathematics accurately and quickly to measure facial features through surveillance pictures/videos.
Also, when you take a look at the genetics, it drives home the point that there are seven other people who look the same. The formation of the embryo requires one-half of the chromosomes from the father and the other from the mother which makes it almost impossible for two people to have the same DNA when they are not twins. You can argue this point by stating that it is possible when the siblings are of the same sex, as their chromosomes are identical. Did you know that the chromosomes will exchange genes before separation? As a result of this, they won’t have the same genes, even if they have identical chromosome selection.
However, there was another project known as “Twin Strangers” where three friends, Terence, Niamh, and Harry started looking for people who looked like them. Through social media, they found the perfect match for Niamh; Karen looked like her twin. I found it quite unnerving to look at their pictures; it was almost impossible to tell them apart.
If you thought that was strange, then you should know that she went on to find another doppelganger after two months. Luisa, from Genoa, Italy, looked like a clone of Niamh; they both even exhibited the same behavior and gestures.
To be honest, having seven identical people is extremely unlikely. Even if two people do look the same, there would be several significant characteristic differences!