Planet China

Two at a time

Is it something in the water? In China the question might normally cause a shiver but in a village in Chongqing municipality it is sparking a more upbeat debate rather than pollution concerns. That’s because Qingyan boasts an incredibly unusual statistic: among its 367 households there are 42 pairs of twins.

Baidu News says the village is so fertile that even the hens lay double-yolk eggs. The locals think the fecundity is due to a spring in the village that they drink from and which they have renamed Twins Springs. It’s reputation has persuaded couples from elsewhere in China to visit and drink the local water, hoping it will aid their own plans to conceive.

To put the numbers in perspective, on average one set of twins is born for every 89 single births globally. In Qingyan that ratio is far, far higher at one in 10. Qi Deli from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences told Baidu News that he has been visiting the area since the 1990s to figure out why. His conclusion is that it is “very complicated”. He says the local rocks contains minerals that find their way into the water, but he thinks other aspects of the villagers’ healthy lifestyles play a significant role too. Baidu News points out there is no “clinical evidence” to show that the birth rate of twins is directly related to the environment, however.

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