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Great Britain

The people who look like identical twins but are actually complete strangers – and the striking similarities don’t stop at their looks

THE chances were one in a million when Niamh Geaney set herself a challenge to find her doppelganger - no matter how far she had to look.

Amazingly, the Dublin lass found three lookalikes. Two of them, Karen and Irene, live near her in Ireland. The third, Louisa, is Italian.

"It's really cool but it's weird. You meet these people who look almost completely like you, but yet behind that you have different personality traits... even though you look the exact same," Niamh told Sunday Night.

"You think you're special and unique and there's no one in the world that's like you, and then you meet someone who looks identical to you and you realise you're not as unique as you thought you were."

Shannon Lonergan, from Ireland, and Sara Nordstroem, from Sweden, also look like identical twins.

Shannon said: "It's like a stranger but you know them. You can trust them because they look like you. There was no awkwardness ever."

But Shannon is much more outgoing than her doppelganger, describing Sara's shyness as "a Swedish thing".

Curious to find out more, the pair visited genetics professor Tim Spector, of King's College London, who studies identical strangers.

Using an advanced mapping system which can measure every contour of someone's face, Professor Spector found the woman have a 90 per cent similarity score, despite not being related in any way.

John Jemison and Neil Richardson are also dead ringers - who live round the corner from each other in Essex.

When Neil moved to Braintree with his wife Marion a few years ago, he soon became aware of locals giving him strange looks - or saying "hi John" to him in the street.

In one hilarious moment, Neil had to show a cafe owner his credit card to prove he wasn't John.

And the men finally met when they both went on the same local history tour a year later.

The twin strangers are now close friends, and it's not just looks they have in common.

They have the same mannerisms, both love poetry, taught religious education and trained to be teachers at the same college.

Bizarrely, they both proposed to their wives after just two weeks but have now been married for 50 years, and both their sons play the didgeridoo.

Neil describes their shared traits as an "accident of fate", but their test revealed another reason for the twinned body language.

John and Neil actually share a distant ancestor, and also have a 90 per cent similarity.

Last week, we spoke to a woman who fell pregnant with twins after a one-night stand on a cruise aged 41 – despite doctors warning her she might never be a mum.

While these mums were all left traumatised for years by their 'normal' childbirths.

Girl comes face-to-face with her mannequin doppelganger in Essex M&S
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