At the time that we are publishing this story, there are 7,, people on the planet, according the the US Census Bureau. Chances are, some of them look like you. Not your family members, but total strangers, with your nose shape, your hair thickness, your eyebrow arch. You rarely come face-to-face with these people, but every so often, you hear about them. You are not the victim of a separated-at-birth Parent Trap reenactment.
You might just have a doppelganger. A doppelganger German for "double walker" is a person who looks incredibly similar to you. We'll say incredibly similar instead of "identical," given that even genetic identical twins aren't actually perfect doubles.
We're all unique as snowflakes, right?
Kind of; we'll explain in a bit. Well, now, all those unique snowflakes have social media profiles. If you wanted to find your doppelganger before the internet, you could end up wandering the streets for years awkwardly peering at strangers. Now, the web is stocked with images of billions of people, many offering multiple angles of their face for better comparison. When two TV producers and an engineering student set out on this very mission, they didn't even need to leave their apartments in Ireland.
Niamh Gearney, Terence Manzanga and Harry English started the "Twin Strangers" project, a challenge to find their near-identical counterparts in 28 days. They made a website and accounts on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTubeall with the same request: Do you know someone who looks like one of us?
We've 28 days to find our closest Twin Stranger! Do you know anyone who looks like us? A photo posted by twinstrangers on Mar 29, at 4: Two weeks later, they were bombarded with more than 6, messages a day. Photos poured in, not just of their "twins," but of people of all shapes, colors and sizes who wanted to find their own doubles.
Gearney filled Facebook albums of their selfies and fuzzy thumbnails, hoping to connect other doppelgangers while she searched for her own. The fascination, she said, is based in a desire to find out what the other you is really like.
To know what they are doing with themselves? For her, the answer was living only an hour away.
A Facebook friend linked Gearney to Karen Branigan, a year-old with her same eye color, nose shape, and according to Gearney, same facial expressions.
When they met in person to pose for photos that would soon circle the internet, they couldn't stop staring at each other.