TwinStrangers users upload photos and catalogue their face, eye, and eyebrow shapes in a bid to find a match. While Sara and Shannon have found their very own doppelganger, they aren’t the only ones.
Earlier this year, Niamh Geaney from Dublin met Karen Branigan. They live just an hour away.
That’s not all. Niamh then met her second doppelganger, and also a third.
These doppelgangers meeting each other is a surprise statistically. Researchers from University of Adelaide’s School of Medicine collected data on 8 facial measurements for 4,000 people. They didn’t find one match. According to this study published in the Forensic Science International earlier this year, the chances of two people with eight of the exact same facial features meeting was less than one in a trillion.
However, the study measured the exact distance between these facial features, not ‘descriptive’ traits like a flat nose.
“Descriptives are not considered a reliable method of evaluation because a trait such as the color of someone’s eyes is subjective,” Professor Maciej Henneberg, co-author of the research said in a statement.
That simply means while it’s almost impossible to find someone who looks ‘exactly’ like you, there’s a higher chance of finding two people who look eerily similar at first glance. That means while Sara and Shannon may not be exact physical replicas, but are doppelgangers in the sense that they might be mistaken for twins.
Dr Daniele Podini, a forensic scientist and expert in facial recognition at George Washington University in Washington, explained to The Telegraph what we call similar is largely due to the context. If two people have similar haircuts, have similar physique and have dressed alike, we are likely to call them doppelgangers, thanks to the ‘confirmation bias’ a psychological tendency to adjust facts so they fit the expected pattern.
Thanks to the internet, we all might find an unrelated doppelgänger. Those interested in finding one can do a reverse Google image search and look through the ‘visually similar images’ or appeal on social media. You can always pay $3.95 per month and browse matches on Twin Strangers.