The Mystery of the village of twins

At first fleeting look, you won't be able to observe something odd on the whole, about the village of Kodinhi. Kodinhi, a far-flung and quiet village in Kerala's Malappuram district. It is an unexplored piece of land, dull village not unlike innumerable others marking the Indian non-city environment. Nevertheless, devote sufficient time wandering through its reserved streets you may start detecting something irregular about this village. You may start having an incident of seeing dual, as there are twins all around, from young to old, both identical and fraternal. In fact, there almost appears to b a pair of twins for almost every family in the village. It persists to be an anonymity to the researchers. Doctors are making continuous efforts to unravel the puzzle of this Indian village boasting 250 sets of twins born in just 2000 families.

It is popularly known as The Twin Town. According to approximations, there are at least 400 duos of twins in the village that has a populace of 2000 families. While authorized ballpark figures in 2008 fastened the number of twins in the village to 280 pairs, the figure has only raised in the years that trailed, inhabitants point out. While the nationalized standard of twin births is not more than 9 in 1000 births, in Kodinhi, the number is as elevated as 45 in 1000 births.

Local doctor Krishnan Sribiju has invested a huge amount of time examining the twins of Kodinhi and he thinks that the pace of twin births is even higher than certified records recommend. He also has found that the pace of twin births in the village is rising every year and that the figure of twins in Kodinhi is two times than the past decade. Dr. Sribiju is also swift to point out that the exceptional rate of twin births in the village is mostly remarkable considering that sub-continental Asia has a characteristically lower rate of twin births than the rest of the world, and India has the least twinning rate in Asia. In fact, generally, India has one of the lowest twinning rates in the world, making Kodinhi even more of an interest.

It is supposed that the twinning trend in Kodinhi initiated around  60 to 70 years back, and the precise cause remains unidentified. Doctors have long been perplexed as to why this village has so many twins, and no one as of yet has been able to unknot the mystery. Adding one more layer of abnormality to the riddle is the truth that even those who wed foreigners and move away from the village display a considerably advanced than normal rate of having twins.

Scientists have delved into biological, genetic, molecular, hereditary and climatic aspects and still have not come to a suitable finale to this enigma. Impurities or chemical factors have been typically ruled out since the immense mass of twins born in Kodinhi are entirely normal and healthy, without birth faults. In addition, non-natural insemination or other fertility cures are not a cause as the villagers are too poor to pay for the prohibitively high costs of such practices. Genetic issues have also mostly been reduced since the effect is restricted in this one village.

Dr. Sribiju wonders that the answer lies in something the villagers are consuming or drinking, but none has been able to cut off the essence that could be accountable. Further compounding this hypothesis is that the eating routines of the villagers of Kodinhi don't seem to be any special than other villages in Kerela. Dr. Sribiju ha said he thinks to continue the investigation in Kodinhi with more specific biochemical examination apparatus, but for now, the irregular number of twins here remains an unsolved anomaly.

Opportunely for the villagers here, the twinning phenomenon has had no actual pessimistic outcomes except for possibly people not being able to always promptly discover just which twin they are speaking to. School gurus here like to gag that they are never certain if a student is really the one present in the class or their twin. Flawed identity is usually a real headache here, yet for the most part, there have been no health worries and the village even appears to be proud of their unique category.

In order to bring the better concentration to the characteristic problems twins here come across, around 30 pairs of twins in the village started an association called “The Twins and Kins Association.” It is reportedly the very first association of its kind in India and it is expected that the group will be able to enhance the consciousness of Kodinhi’s dilemma and the unique existence of twins.

This village’s bizarrely high concentration of twin siblings has now come under the observance of an international team of genetic researchers. A compiled team consisting of researchers from varied organizations in India, Germany, and the U.K. has begun to collect saliva samples from the twins of Kodinhi village, near Tirurangadi, to segregate their DNA, in a proposal to find out why so many twins are born here.

They explained they were trying to find out the specific gene accountable for the country’s highest twinning population. Kodinhi, consisting of eight regions in Nannambra grama panchayat with a near 20,000 population, logs the uppermost rate of twins in the country. The occurrence of more than 500 twin siblings of diverse ages in the village still lingers as a riddle for the scientific world.

The 12-member squad from the CSIR’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad; Kerala University of Fisheries and Oceanic Studies (KUFOS), Kochi; Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tubingen, Germany; and the University College, London; is now on site at Kodinhi and studying the physiology and performance of the twins.

The twin occurrence has been screening no let-up. “Among the twins we are studying are a three-week-old pair,” P. Preetham Elumalai, assistant professor of biochemistry from KUFOS told The Hindu. Thirumalaisamy P. Velavan from Tubingen University is leading the research team.

The examiners will group the data gathered from the four twin societies and subject them to a deeper analysis. The consequences are likely to throw attractive light on an enigma that the world has been observing with much nosiness until now.

Although neighboring people inclined to assign many bases for high twinning in the four global communities, none of them had any scientific assistance. “Until today, no studies have provided a scientific rationale for twinning in specific populations,” said Prof. Preetham.

Kaustubh Adhikari from University College London, who got worldwide awareness by screening grey hair gene, and his coworker Macarena Fuentes Guajardo say they are thrilled about the Kodinhi twinning phenomenon. 

Therefore, if you ever find yourself in this village and start seeing double yourself, just keep in mind that it is not just your imagination playing tricks on you.