Short answer: No.
I know, it’s disappointing, but wouldn’t it be more disappointing if the telepathy thing was real, but you could only read one person’s mind? And that’s if you were lucky enough to be a twin -- one out of every 30 babies born in the United States, FYI.
The idea started as folklore in the 1800s, but though there are a lot of weird similarities between twins, it has to do more with their environmental upbringing than being psychologically or telepathically or whatever-ally connected. Oftentimes, twins are closer than other, non-twin siblings and have similar friend groups, character traits and interests. But research -- if any -- into whether or not twins can anticipate the others’ thoughts or “sense” each other in an ESP sort of way hasn’t led to anything.
“Many believe this is rooted in genetics, such as identical twins sharing the same DNA,” Maureen Healy, a child expert and author of “Growing Happy Kids,” told Romper.
This is more true in identical twins (who were born from a single fertilized egg that split in two) than in fraternal twins (born from separate eggs and only share about half of their DNA), but the theory is that sharing the same womb forms a connection closer than the rest of us can imagine.
This shouldn’t be surprising, of course, since even non-twins can form special bonds -- how many times have you finished your best friend’s sentences, for example, or known what your significant other was thinking just from the slope of their shoulders? Anything beyond that uber-closeness, though, is simply fortuitous and anecdotal -- the overly-coincidental stories get tons of news coverage, making it sound like it’s a “twin thing,” but keep in mind they’re getting heavily covered because they’re so rare.
But what intriguing anecdotes they are.
A twin named Sally, for example, claimed that she shared her sister Helen’s pregnancy, in a way, becoming plagued with overwhelming nausea and even labor-esque contractions, according to The Guardian.
There was Gemma Houghton, who found her twin sister Leanne underwater and unconscious after suffering a seizure, because she just felt like she needed help.
While “twin telepathy” may very well be something these siblings experience, it’s definitely a bit dramatized in the media and not as scientific as we would hope.
Research into twin tendencies is better suited for the nature vs. nurture debate, since identical twins are literally the same (for these intents and purposes), nature-wise. If one twin develops Alzheimer’s (a hereditary disease) later in life and the other doesn’t, for example, it could make for important medical discoveries.
Twins will buy the same items on separate days, dial each other’s phones at the same time or have similar experiences on opposite ends of the country. Even when twins were raised separately but show uncommon similarities with each other, it’s more about the genetics of their personalities and interests than anything else, according to twin researcher (and fraternal twin herself) Dr. Nancy Segal.
Well, at least us non-twins aren’t missing anything!