98 sets of twins born in same village in 54 years

13:58, November 16, 2010      

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The amazing births of 98 sets of twins in a remote village in Hunan Province in the past 54 years have recently raised great concern and discussion.

A local rumor says that pregnant women who gave birth to twins drank the well water, which easily leads to the production of twins. Some experts said that it is caused by genetic factors.

According to media reports, the village with a high twin birthrate is located in Baiyun Township, Shimen County, Changde City, in northwest of Hunan Province. Statistics show that using Heshan Village as the center, a total of 98 sets of twins were born within an area of 2 square kilometers in the past 54 years, with birthrate of twins in Heshan Village even reaching almost 5 percent, while the recognized birthrate of human twins is only between 1 and 2 percent.

Heshan Village seems like a paradise and received its name because the back of the village is adjacent to the 1,700-meter-high Hefeng Peak. Looking out from the mountain top, the village is surrounded by mountains in three directions and looks like a dustpan filled with goods.

There are many explanations about the reason why the local area is rich in twins.

Gong Zhenze, Party branch secretary of the village, believes that it is because there are both realgar and orpiment mines underground the village. The per unit area of realgar reserves that exist in the village ranks second in the world, and first in China. There is also the largest realgar factory in Hunan and in addition, realgar has a concomitant called "orpiment." Not all the realgar mines have a twin orpiment mine, however the one in Heshan Village does.

Heshan Village has a high elevation and sufficient sunshine and fresh air all year round. Ni Bin, who has a doctorate in genetics and is the director of the Modern Eugenic Technology Laboratory in Hunan, said that the favorable natural environment is good for producing twins and another factor is genetics. Ni said that the ancestors of the village may have developed the twin gene and after many generations, more and more people in the village have the gene.

However, none of the theories can be proven. Therefore, the paradise-like village has been attracting extensive attention with its secret of a high twin birthrate.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:叶欣)

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