There might be an identical twin in your school or office and among your friends or relatives. But there is a place in Kerala where the chances of identical faces smiling at you are higher than. Kodinhi, a nondescript hamlet near Tirurangandi in Malappuram district, has hogged the limelight for its twin effect for quite some time now.
As per the official numbers of 2016, the total number of twins in this village is more than 1,000. Though many researchers from different countries studied Kodinhi's unique phenomenon, none were able to come out with a convincing explanation.
A peek into the history
Twins have been walking the alleys of Kodinhi for the past three generations, and the oldest pair in the village was born in 1949. While the average twin birth is 4 in 1,000 births in India, the number is as high as 45 in Kodinhi. The number of twin births has shot up in the past few years and there are as many as 80 pairs in the 0-10 age group in the village.
The twin phenomenon is also found in Igbo-Oro in Nigeria and it is said that dietary preferences of women there led to a high number of twin births. But there has been no scientific conclusion to the high twin birth rate in Kodinhi.
Kodinhi is the fourth place in the world that logs high incidence of twin births. The other two places, besides Igbo-Oro, are Candido Godoi in Brazil and Hung Hiep in Vietnam. Kodinhi, which is often called 'God's own twin town,' holds many Guinness world records too. Many organizations, including National Geographic, are supporting the efforts to unravel the secret behind the high rate of twin births in Kodinhi.