Posted: Mar 20, 2011 11:43 pm
by jez9999
So, this is a relatively old story but I didn't see it mentioned on these boards so I thought I'd point it out.

Abigail and Brittany Hensel are conjoined twins - but they're of an incredibly rare kind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkKWApOAG2g
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8706880357624199406
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail_and_Brittany_Hensel

Image
(nope, not a Photoshop)
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They share the lower half of their body; it fuses at the small intestine (there are 2 stomachs in the body). How a Y-shaped small intestine (which connects to both stomachs) formed is beyond me; you can just about understand the fusing of 2 bodies but the human body didn't evolve to have a Y-shaped small intestine because there isn't usually 2 stomachs so it doesn't seem like the kind of 'modification' that would develop. Hum.

The level of co-ordination is incredible. They have a shared diaphragm so they must breathe in tandem, speak exactly in tandem or one at a time. In order to walk, ride a bike, swin, or drive (only in America!!!) they need incredible co-ordination between the two. There seems to be some kind of psychological link to allow them to do this because they also seem to finish each others' sentences or occasionally say stuff together in chorus, which is more than uncanny; there's some psychological communication going on there.

Annoyingly, but perhaps understandably, they want as few tests done as possible, but it would be interesting to see how this psychological link worked. As for their desire to have a 'normal life', though... I'm afraid I think their family has brought them up in an uber-protected environment with unrealistic expectations. They're incredibly unusual and there is no way they are going to have a normal life. The better way to do things would be to get them to accept that as early on as possible.

Only about 6 of this kind of conjoined twins has ever been born, most die in early childhood, and these ones are the only ones living today.