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Questions Surround Discovery Of Teen’s Six Doppelgängers

Throughout history, many cultures have developed folklore related to the concept of the doppelgänger – an exact lookalike of an individual. Sometimes doppelgängers take the form of a complete stranger who looks uncannily like another individual, or they can be a shadowy, ghost-like presence stalking people until they go mad. In some cultures, meeting one’s doppelgänger is a sign of impending doom, while in others the doppelgänger is a type of shadow self, following individuals everywhere they go but remaining at the edges of their own reality. Many famous figures have encountered their doppelgänger shortly before meeting some form of violent end or suffering, including Abraham Lincoln and French author Guy de Maupassant.

In 2015, two strangers sat next to one another on a British airliner only to discover they could have been twins.

In 2015, two strangers sat next to one another on a British airliner only to discover they could have been twins.

More recently, one teen’s chance meeting in a San Diego shopping mall led her to discover not one but six doppelgängers who like uncannily like her. Santana Gutierrez, a seventeen-year-old student at UC San Diego, was strolling the mall when she ran into her seeming twin. The two were startled by their close resemblance, and posed for a picture together. After posting the picture to Twitter, Gutierrez saw her post go viral.

Gutierrez, left - or is it right?

Gutierrez, right – or is it left?

That attention led to tens of thousands of likes and shares on Twitter, not to mention the discovery of the six other doppelgängers.  All seven of the girls are complete strangers and have no known family connections. If various doppelgänger myths are to be believed, does this mean some sort of impending doom is on the way to one or more of the girls? Let’s hope not.

The seven doppelgängers, complied by Twitter users.

The seven doppelgängers, complied by Twitter users.

In recent years, social media has led to thousands of people discovering their real-life doppelgängers due to automated facial recognition algorithms. Websites such as Facebook often detect images of users’ faces to be completely different individuals who happen to look startlingly alike. Several websites, such as TwinStrangers.net, have sprung up to try and link people with their own doppelgängers. Could these lead to the discovery of some as-yet unknown genetic markers for facial appearance, or perhaps even some sort of shadowy worldwide cloning conspiracy? While the first one is likely, don’t cast your bets on the second. There are likely boring, genetic underpinnings for the phenomenon of so-called “twin strangers.” 

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  • TRIPLESEVENSIX

    Wow!! Crazy.

  • Streetfighter

    My doppelganger is the “Gas Man” from Dumb and Dumber.

  • NavyVeteran

    Mine is Jeff Goldblum and Bob Saget. lol

  • Benwayreturns

    I’ve been fascinated and creeped out by the doppelganger legends since I was a kid. As an adult I discovered that I had one. I first learned of this at a local pub/ counterculture hangout one evening years ago. I was out on my own, since I always met somebody I knew or who was interesting there and would just drop by. A teenage girl sat down opposite me and started talking to me as if we knew each other. I wracked my brains as the conversation went on trying to remember who she was and how I knew her until it became clear that she thought I was a teacher she liked from school! (Yes she was too young to be drinking!) I explained that I wasn’t but she just laughed it off, somewhat confused and seemed baffled by the ‘joke’. It took ages to even get her to entertain the idea that I wasn’t him and that I was a total stranger even after talking for nearly an hour. I still don’t think she believed it.

    This began a series of similar instances over the years with people I knew insisting that we’d spoken at some place I hadn’t been at and continuing conversations I’d never started. It was hard to convince people that there was somebody else so similar to me that they could talk to them and not me without realising and I think some people thought I was crazy or pulling some bizarre prank.

    I finally met my doppelganger at a club one night. I felt like I’d wandered into a David Lynch film! He wasn’t identical, but the differences were small and it was very creepy. I was worried when we shook hands that the universe might explode or something. He’d had similar problems to me. We both grilled each other about wether the other could have been adopted or if one of our fathers was a philanderer, but nope, we both shared to many characteristics with our fathers. We discussed our families and there was no possible relationship. Just a weird weird coincidence.

    After that I had no end of awkward times after being seen (“You were at the swimming pool! You WERE!”) of having to explain the existance of my doppelganger. “Well, this is going to sound ridiculous but there’s this guy who looks just like me…”

    The jerk also nearly got me barred from my local pub once after eating and running. I had a hell of a time explaining that one…