In southern India there is a village where more than 200 pairs of twins live within two thousand families. The reason for these multiple births is still a mystery.
And the particular phenomenon of Kodinhi, in the state of Kerala, does not seem to stop. On the contrary, the births of twins are increasing. However, this is not an ancient event. According to some residents, in fact, it dates back to about 3-4 generations ago.
In October 2016, a joint team of researchers from various institutions including CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) and University of London and Germany visited the village to find answers to this phenomenon.
The researchers collected saliva and hair samples from the twins to study their DNA. The study is simultaneously being conducted in Kodinhi, Hung loc commune in Hung Hiepfrom South Vietnam, Igbo-Ora in Nigeria and Cándido Godói in Brazil, where the number of twin births is high.
Prof E Preetham of KUFOS points out that though there are multiple speculations about why this could occur, nothing has been proved scientifically.
“While many say that it is genetic, there are also speculations that a particular element in the air or water in the village could be the cause of this phenomenon. As far as our study is concerned, we have collected the samples from people in Kodinhi and is in the process of collecting samples from the other communities too. As of now, the phenomenon is yet to get a scientific explanation,” Dr Preetham said.