The curious case of twins in a Chinese village

The curious case of twins in a Chinese village  Beijing, Nov 17 : Believe it or not, a remote village in China has set an amazing record of birth of 98 sets of twins in the past half a century.

The phenomenon is being attributed to a local legend that says pregnant women who gave birth to twins drank water from a village well in Heshan village in the Changde City area in Hunan province, the People's Daily reported.

Statistics show that using Heshan village as the centre, a total of 98 sets of twins were born within an area of two square kilometres in the past 54 years.

Heshan village is adjacent to the 1,700-metre-high Hefeng peak.

There have been many theories over the years about the reason why the local area is rich in twin births.

Gong Zhenze, party secretary of the village, believes it is because there are mines of both realgar and orpiment - two forms of arsenic sulphide - in the area. The per unit area of realgar reserves that exist in the village ranks second in the world and first in China.

Heshan has a high elevation and receives sufficient sunshine and fresh air all year round.

Ni Bin, who holds a doctorate in genetics and is director of the Modern Eugenic Technology Laboratory in Hunan, said the favourable natural environment is good for producing twins.

Ni also believes 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 has been proved and the secret of twin births in the remote paradise-like village still remains unresolved.(IANS)