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The Boys (and Girls) From Brazil


National Geographic video link.

Last year Neatorama offered a link to a Telegraph article about a remote Brazilian village with, in Miss Cellania's words, a "bazillion Brazilian" twins.  Now Candido Godol will be the subject of an upcoming documentary in a National Geographic's Explorer program.

The statistics are jaw-dropping: 44 pairs of twins in 80 families in a 1.5-square-mile area - a rate 1000% above the global average.  Some scientists attribute this to a "founder effect" since many of these Brazilians are descendants of German immigrants who clustered in this remote outback area.  Others wonder about environmental contamination or simple chance.  The National Geographic program will apparently focus on the more tabloid-worthy "Joseph Mengele-was-here" hypothesis.

Via Reddit, where there is a discussion thread.

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I watched this last weekend and was really disappointed.

SPOILERS

Basically, the truth is that the area was settled by eight families around a hundred years ago. Some of them had a predisposition genetically for twins. In that isolated location with such a small gene pool, that anomaly thrived through the several generations to today.

The documentary spent an inordinate amount of time on the whole mengele angle, which they knew to be false, and really only sprang this genetic thing at the last minute. Lousy way to do a documentary.
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Nazi scientists doctors were notoriously brutal and primitive in their human testing. To say that Mengele discovered the secret to creating twins is like saying Jeffrey Dahmer was a cordon bleu chef.
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I dunno--I think maybe it's an effect of random genetic drift? (But that's because I don't know a lot of stuff so... .__.)
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Yeah, wow Mengele, eh? And here I thought it was related to Calla Bryn Sturgis. Seriously, this is conjecture, but titillating conjecture to be sure. Neat.
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