Separated at birth: astounding twin tales
Imagine discovering as an adult that another person has been living an entirely different life with your face, temperament and genes.
William Cañas Velasco and Jorge Enrique Bernal Castro
Two women visited a butcher shop in northern Bogotá, Colombia, in 2013. One of them greeted her friend William, the man behind the counter; the other woman was sure she recognised the same man as Jorge, a colleague from her office. She was wrong, but she later showed Jorge photos of William, and as he browsed through the other man’s Facebook photos, he was amazed at the similarity. Jorge’s amazement became bewilderment though, when he saw one particular photograph on William’s feed, showing the man who looked exactly like himself next to a man who looked exactly like his own fraternal twin brother. Read on to see what happened next in this story of twins separated at birth.
Carlos Alberto Bernal Castro and Wilber Cañas Velasco
Both Jorge and William had grown up with what they believed were their fraternal twins, Carlos and Wilber, and when they found each other it was clear that they had actually been two sets of identical twins who got mismatched. Because of digestive problems, infant Carlos had been moved from the rural hospital where he was born to the Bogotá hospital where the other set of twins was born, and somehow got switched with William during the first days of their lives. The four men – age 24 when they discovered each other – began an intense process of getting to know one another and found that the identical twins shared more traits than the brothers who had grown up together. “One pair always thought that the bumps on their noses were due to a fall, and when they met their twin they knew it was a genetically influenced trait,” says Nancy L. Segal, PhD, a psychology professor at California State University in Fullerton who has written several books about twins, including Accidental Brothers, about the Castro and Velasco brothers. “In the other pair, both were very fashion-conscious, despite one being raised in the country and the other in the city.”