It's not uncommon for the connection between twins to be strong, and rightly so; sharing a womb and going through the same development stages together would undoubtedly create a strong bond. But sometimes it's so strong that it seems as if twins can read one another's minds, communicating telepathically. This happens in ways large and small, as the following stories (and studies) illustrate.
What Is Twin Telepathy?
The concept of telepathy is when one person can sense or "receive" thoughts or feelings from another person without any spoken words, and it often happens over great distances. Most of the evidence for the existence of telepathic powers comes from volumes of stories filled with anecdotal evidence, yet there are a limited number of studies to back up these claims.
Regardless of the lack of significant scientific evidence for the phenomenon, many people believe that telepathy is a very real power of the human mind. The mountain of testimonial evidence from twins, in particular, is fairly convincing.
Everyday Examples of Twin Telepathy
While some stories of twin telepathy are quite dramatic, the most common examples of them are of everyday, small things that seem to be augmented by the bond between twins.
Kristin McCarthy (Love to Know Baby and Family writer and mom of twins) shared several of the small (and sometimes hilarious ways) her twins seem to be on the same wavelength:
"I will say it is like the girls share a brain. One has an idea, and the other has zero questions about what is taking place or what direction the idea is going. They just seem to always know the deal. They take being in sync to a whole other level. Sadly the in syncness often points them in the direction of total mischief." She also shares that when one gets up at night, the other does as well. And when one gets a time out or sent to bed early, the other one cries (even if she was the one that helped get her twin into that situation to begin with...)
Another Love to Know writer, historian and antiques expert Megan Cooper, has sisters who are twins and had this to say: "Their telepathy always is emotional oriented. So, one of them will get this blanket of sadness or malaise and just know that it's not their feelings. They also said it was much more intense when they were younger, but has faded some as they've aged (they're 30 now)."
Saved by Her Twin
In 2009, twins Leanne and Gemma Houghton had a shocking experience that made them realize just how much of a connection they shared with one another. One day, Gemma was going about her daily schedule in the UK (United Kingdom) home that the two sisters shared.
Suddenly, Gemma had a horrible feeling that her twin sister was in trouble. She knew her sister was taking a bath, but other than an overwhelming feeling of dread, she had no reason to suspect that anything was wrong with her sister. Following her intuition, she went into the bathroom to check on her sister, and what she discovered changed both of their lives forever.
Only moments before, Leanne Houghton had experienced some form of seizure and passed out in the bath. When Gemma found her, her first thought was that Leanne was washing her hair. Within moments, she realized that Leanne had passed out and was submerged underneath the water.
With only moments to spare, Gemma pulled Leanne out of the bath and performed first aid on her. Gemma saved her sister's life that day, and as the news story spread throughout Europe, most observers agreed that if Leanne hadn't experienced her surreal telepathy, her sister would have died that day.
Studies About Twin Telepathy
While reputable scientific studies of telepathy between twins are difficult to find, there are researchers trying to analyze regardless if it is a real phenomenon. In fact, psychiatrist Diane Powell wrote a book titled Twin Telepathy and the Illusion of Separation, where she details a list of impressive stories of twin telepathy. The 1961 study conducted by Robert Sommer, Humphry Osmond and Lucille Pancyr found 12 out of 35 pairs of twins reported having telepathic experiences.
Telepathic Transmission of Test Answers
Another impressive study was conducted by J.B. Rhine and Olivia Rivers, two University researchers that tested a set of specific identical twins named Terry and Sherry. According to the story, the girls could communicate test answers in school and also knew whenever the other felt a pain or got sick. The researchers tested the twins' ability to pass entire sentences to each other via telepathy.
Same Brain Waves
Two ophthalmologists published a paper claiming to have results of telepathic influences from artificially induced alpha rhythm in twins. The comparison results showed identical brain activity in the receiving twin.
Cherkas Study of Genetic or Environmental Influence
Led by Dr Lynn Cherkas, a team of researchers conducted a study on twin humor. Their focus was on identical twins due to their 100% shared genes. The study was designed to determine if it were environmental or genetic influence over humor. The results demonstrated that the environment played a slight role in response and pointed more to genetics than environmental influence.
Is Twin Telepathy Real?
Paranormal events experienced by people, like the stories above, are often enough to convince people that there is a very real phenomenon taking place. While some people dismiss these stories as only coincidences more and more parapsychology researchers are taking these experiences seriously and exploring new ways to explain how and why so many twins seem to communicate telepathically with such uncanny accuracy.