Double Vision: 6 Stunning Photos of Identical Twins Who are 'Alike But Not Alike'

National Geographic explores twins in the January 2012 issue. Photo copyright: Martin Schoeller

The wonders of nature are usually spoken about in reference to things, like spectacular waterfalls or breathtaking rock formations. But twins are another wonder of nature, and they are explored at length in the January 2012 issue of National Geographic:

They have the same piercing eyes. The same color hair. One may be shy, while the other loves meeting new people. Discovering why identical twins differ—despite having the same DNA—could reveal a great deal about all of us.

The issues examines “the influence of genes and the environment” in an effort to understand how nature and nurture work together to determine things like personality, behavior, and vulnerability to disease.

Take a sneak peak at some of the astonishing twin portraits in this month’s National Geographic:


  • Marta and Emma 1 of 6
    Marta and Emma
    The 15-year-old sisters want to go to the same university and become opera singers. They both like to draw as well but have a different approach to their art. Marta depicts finely detailed faces, while Emma prefers more expansive images: the sky, the rain, objects in motion.
    Copyright: Martin Schoeller/National Geographic
  • Ramon and Eurides 2 of 6
    Ramon and Eurides
    As infants, Ramon and Eurides looked so much alike that their mother gave them name bracelets so she wouldn't get confused and feed the same child twice. Today at age 34, the twins are next-door neighbors in Florida, living in identical custom-built houses. A topic of family debate: Who has the fuller face? Ramon says it's Eurides. Eurides (and the mother) say it's Ramon. Mom thinks it's because she mistakenly gave Eurides's portion to the other twin.
    Copyright: Martin Schoeller/National Geographic
  • Don and Dave 3 of 6
    Don and Dave
    "We're wired the same," says Don Wolf (at right) of his twin, Dave, explaining how they've gotten along as truck-driving partners for 18 years. "He's messier than I am," Don says. "But we like the same music and share the same sense of humor."
    Copyright: Jodi Cobb/National Geographic
  • Johanna and Eva 4 of 6
    Johanna and Eva
    Six-year-old Johanna Gill puts a protective hand on her sister, Eva. The twins both have mild autism, a disorder linked to genetic inheritance.
    Copyright: Martin Schoeller/National Geographic
  • Mike and Bob 5 of 6
    Mike and Bob
    Ranked number one in the world, the doubles team of Mike (at left) and Bob Bryan has won more than 70 championships, including Wimbledon in 2011. The 33-year-olds anticipate each other so well opponents accuse them of being telepathic.
    Copyright: Jodi Cobb/National Geographic
  • Twins: Alike but not alike 6 of 6
    Twins: Alike but not alike
    For more stunning portraits, stories and the science of twins, see the January 2012 issue of National Geographic, on newsstands now.
    Copyright: National Geographic

All images courtesy of National Geographic

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