Twins. Two of the same person, right? Wrong! Two individuals who are non-synthetic monozygotic replicas of each other (did I lose you? Haha) who share similar features but are never truly 100% identical. Take it from me, an identical twin, God didn’t just hit copy and paste with us. Sure we have identical DNA, when most siblings share anywhere between 25-75% of the same DNA, but even identical twins have different fingerprints. Seeing as how we’re not all experts on CSI and possess the technology to scan fingerprints, here are a few fool-proof ways to tell identical twins apart!

1) Mirror Image Twins – Ever heard of this? Mirror image twins are twins who face each other in the womb, instead of sitting side by side. Therefore, what’s exposed to one twin on one side will be exposed to the other twin on the opposite side. This gives the twins opposite hairlines, opposite teeth patterns, and one will be left-handed and the other right-handed. Mirror image twins are 99.99% identical, but opposite in most ways. My twin and I are mirror image, and even our immune systems tend to be opposite, where when one twin gets sick, the other is immune to it. I have no idea how this happens, but it’s pretty neat!

2) Birthmarks – Twins tend to have the same birthmarks and moles, but usually in different areas. With me and my twin, ours are about 6-8″ apart from each other. My sister has a birthmark on her lower back, while mine is on my mid-back. She has a mole on her face and mine is on my neck on the same side.

3) Personality – Despite the fact that identical twins look the same, they have different personality types because well, they’re two different people! When you have a conversation with them, look for differences in how they talk, listen, act, and respond to what you say. You will notice that one twin might speak faster, or one twin may have a shorter attention span. People notice that my twin sister is edgier than me, and many people say I’m funnier than her (but be aware that it can change at any point)!

4) Where they stand – Because of how twins are formed together, you might notice that one twin usually stands on the right of the other twin, vice versa. No matter what age, my theory is that our muscles tend to retain memory, even back to certain womb positions!

5) Face Shape – If you look closely, you’ll notice that twins have different face shapes, especially as they get older. One may have a wider face, while the other twin may have a more narrow face. With me and my twin sister, our chins point down on opposite sides when we smile, and my sister has a more defined face than I do. Can you see the difference in these twins?

6) Ask their parents (when all else fails) – If the twins are young, their parents may be the only ones who can tell them apart. They know their twins more than anyone else, and are familiar with every nook and cranny of their children, so don’t hesitate to ask. No guarantee they’ll give away their secrets though!

And here are some fun ways you can attempt to recognize but it can vary each time you see a set of twins:

  • Eyebrow shapes
  • Hair color
  • Voices
  • Mean twin vs nice twin “look”
  • Mean twin vs nice twin “personality”
  • Hair length
  • Scars on skin
  • Taller vs wider smiles

Hope this helps! Do you have twins in your family or circle of friends? What are some ways you can tell twins apart?