5 Ways an Evil Twin Can Suck Your Life Away

5 Ways an Evil Twin Can Suck Your Life Away

We’ve all had evil twins. We know how this usually works. Your twin ties you up and keeps you in your secret room and carries on with your spouse, making you watch through one-way glass. They assume control of your vast fortune. Everyone mistakes them for you, and no one knows why you’re acting so rude all of a sudden. The only way anyone can tell the two of you apart is your twin has that knife wound on their back, from that time on the island.

Believe it or not, however, that is just one way that your twin can take over.

Stealing Your Blood in the Womb

Your evil twin behaves in a heartless manner. This can also be literally true in the case of an acardiac twin, who lacks the ability to pump blood in the womb. You, the twin who shares a uterus with this parasite, will have to pump blood for the both of you. This isn’t enough to keep it viable, but if your acardiac sibling is anywhere close to as big as you are, this pumping is enough to ensure your own death.

X-ray of an acardiac fetus

Reginald J. Gladstone

How does this look like a skull while also having no skull?

At this point, are you justified in strangling your sibling for the sake of your own survival? Absolutely, you are. You are caught in a trap (“trap” here stands for twin reversed arterial perfusion). When hospitals describe possible treatments, they don’t even mention that the acardiac twin will die; this goes without saying. The priority is saving you, the pump twin. 

The solution here is of course to use sci-fi weaponry, a technique called radiofrequency ablation, or fulguration. A tiny needle will blast you with radio waves that shut the artery to your twin shut. They’ll wither away, and you blood is saved for its rightful owner. 

Staying on You Once You’re Both Born

Some twins are born conjoined, either lightly connected or sharing most of their organs. You’ve surely heard of a few anomalously successful cases, but some types of conjoining can be deadly for both twins.

Conjoined twin sisters from Nuremberg Chronicle (1493)

Hartmann Schedel

These are drawn like angels because they’ll be in heaven soon. 

In October 2000, Rina Attard from Malta gave birth to baby girls, Gracie and Rose. They were joined at the pelvis and spine. Rose was the weaker sister, and much like an acardiac fetus, she relied on her twin’s heart to sustain her. Much like trap fetuses, both would die without intervention. However, severing the connection here was more complicated than a simple prenatal needle. Both girls had now been born. Rose, while doomed to die, had a functioning brain. The law usually does not leave room for killing a living child, even to save another. The parents, given the choice, said they would take no action.

Doctors thought this was an irresponsible decision. When the parents came to Britain to ask expert advice, these doctors took the case to court, which ruled that the hospital must separate the girls and kill Rose to save Gracie’s life. By the time they carried out the operation, against the parents’ wishes, the girls were 15 months old. Rose died, and the parents were now permitted to go back to their home country, where they buried Rose and raised a healthy Gracie. 

Screwing Up Your DNA

When Washington woman Lydia Fairchild applied for government aid for help raising her children, she had to undergo a DNA test to prove the kids were really hers. She didn’t fear failing the test. She’d given birth to them — of course she was their mother. Nevertheless, the test said that she wasn’t. Not only was she now denied the assistance she was applying for, she was on the hook for fraud charges, and maybe for kidnapping charges after that.

She hadn’t committed fraud. She really had given birth to those kids. The issue was Fairchild’s body contained two sets of DNA, messing up the test. 

DNA profiling

Helixitta/Wiki Commons

We’re not referring to recent intercourse. We mean something else. 

When she was in the womb, she’d had a fraternal twin and had absorbed her. She’d incorporated her sister’s DNA, making herself what’s known as a chimera

There’s a good chance she never would have been able to put forward this argument, and the suspicious state would have seized her children from her based on the DNA test. Luckily, she happened to be very pregnant with a third child, which gave the state a chance to do a test on that kid immediately after it was born. This one, too, appeared not to be a match for the DNA they had on file for the mother, so it was clear something was up, other than kidnapping. 

Putting You on the Hook for Child Support

In Brazil, a pair of twins — real names withheld, but dubbed Fernando and Fabricio — were each accused of fathering a child. The mother said she had started a relationship with Fernando, but she wasn’t sure, since the men looked identical. A paternity test is normally an easy way to determine which of several men fathered a child, but it was useless in this case. Fernando and Fabricio had identical DNA. There was no way to determine who was the father, they argued, so neither of them could be liable for the child’s welfare.


Wesley Tingey/Unsplash

Ah, yes. The “you got the wrong twin” defense. 

The court didn’t buy this argument, particularly when they learned that this was a regular routine for the men, sleeping with women and pulling an occasional switcheroo. That scheme is pure fun if you’re an evil twin but counts as rape by deception in some jurisdictions.

In 2019, the court ruled that each man had to pay child support for the child. Each one of them now has to pay 30 percent of the minimum wage to the mother, right up until the kid reaches adulthood. That means the mother now receives double the amount she’d otherwise be entitled to. We imagine whichever one didn’t father the kid is now deeply regretting not testifying against the real culprit (our money’s on Fabricio, that scamp). 

Living in You All Your Life

A 36-year-old man in India spent most of his life with a big belly that no amount of dieting would shrink. There was in fact some kind of growth inside of him, and in 1999, it pressed so hard on his diaphragm that an ambulance had to pull him into a Mumbai hospital for an immediate operation. 

Doctors cut him open looking for a tumor. What they found instead had hair. That alone was quite startling but not so strange — that would be called a teratoma, which can also contain muscle and even bone. Sanju Bhagat’s growth, however, was more than a teratoma. A doctor found himself looking at a fully formed hand that he could shake, one with long fingernails. The growth had another hand too, and feet. It even had genitals. 

Fetus in fetu Computed Tomography scan

NM Khalifa

Here is a scan of a different case, chosen to avoid showing you genitals

This was a case of fetus in fetu. Bhagat had had a twin in the womb and had absorbed it, but rather than dissolving the twin, or incorporating its DNA, he had spent the next decades of his life with this twin remaining inside him, alive. There have been less than 100 cases this extreme ever recorded, which makes it very rare in medical terms, but that’s still around 100 more cases than we would have hoped had ever happened. 

Oh, and yes, there absolutely has been a horror film recently made with a premise something like this. We’d name it here, but the twin bit is supposed to be a twist, and if we spoil twists, that’s when twin Chris gets out the knife. 

Follow Ryan Menezes on Twitter for more stuff no one should see.

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