According to Wikipedia, being born a conjoined twin is an extremely rare phenomenon, occuring in an estimated one in 49,000 births to one in 189,000. Even though there have been incredible medical advancements in terms of care and delivering twins, 35-percent of conjoined twins don’t make it past their first day alive. Even more curious is the phenomenon itself, which experts still find difficult to study the causes of the condition despite the scientific advancements.
Twins form when two eggs are fertilized separatel,y making the twins fraternal or when a single fertilized egg splits, causing two identical fetuses to develop. In the latter instance, the process is not instantaneous and on the rare occasions (one in 49,000 to one in 189,000) the two fetuses do not fully seperate and become conjoined. They develop sharing organs and body structures.
More than a century ago, conjoined twins were treated as a marvel and called “Siamese twins” after the most famous conjoined twins of the 19th century, Chang and Eng Bunker. The twins were born in Siam, thus the name “Siamese” but traveled the world as part of a sideshow act with P.T. Barnum. The Bunker twins lived quite successfully until they were 62, and even married two sisters and had a total of 21 children.
Chang and Eng were linked at the sternum and their livers were infused, but conjoined twins can be linked at any point. Thoraco-omphalopagus twins are the most common conjoined twins, making up 28-percent of instances. That means that the babies develop attached at the chest and share organs like a heart and liver.
That’s how the twins you’re about to meet were conjoined until a successful, yet grueling surgery was able to separate them.
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