Lore Report: “Reflections” (Episode 142)

https://allthatsinteresting.com/jim-twins

Folklore wasn’t always an invention of the mind, just some clever story invented and then passed along. Sometimes it was more tangible, more physical, and more real. Because in a world of the unusual and unexpected, nothing was more powerful than the birth of twins.

Today’s episode of the Lore podcast considers the wonders and mysteries of identical twins. As always, host Aaron Mahnke is careful to establish historical context: besides recurring to Greek and Roman mythology, he also notes how twins were feared and revered by ancient cultures worldwide. The episode really hits its stride when Mahnke relates stories of twin connections (e.g. a pair of brothers separately adopted as infants who grew up to have wives/children/dogs with the same name, who entered into the same career field, and who even chose the same exact vacation spot) that seem to move beyond sheer coincidence and into the realm of the mystical. The scientifically inexplicable shades even further toward the eerily supernatural when Mahnke focuses on a pair of twins with an uncanny link to their siblings who died in a car crash before the younger set was even born.

In the closing segment, the topic shifts from identical to conjoined twins, and unfortunately, the discussion here feels like a bit of a stretch (and an attempt to expand the episode towards the podcast’s typical run time). That Eng died just a few hours after his brother Chang can be interpreted as a mere biological byproduct. The perishing of these famous Siamese twins on the same day doesn’t seem all that incredible, and thus Episode 142 ends with a narrative whimper.

“Reflections” pales in comparison to Lore‘s best offerings, but devoted listeners will still want to check this one out.

 

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