The Twins Who Share a Body

The Twins Who Share a Body

Ratings: 7.73/10 from 41 users.

The Twins Who Share a BodyAlthough they are two completely separate people, these accomplished teens share a body and have just two arms and legs between them.

Born in 1990, the girls have been brought up in a small, tightly knit community in Minnesota, almost completely protected from prying eyes and inquisitive stares.

To their friends and family, they are distinct people with very different personalities, needs, tastes and desires.

But to the outside world they are a medical mystery – particularly given the fact that they can do virtually all the same things as their friends, including playing the piano, riding a bike, swimming and playing softball. "Their personalities make them inspirational," says their mother Patty.

"They never give up; anything they want to do, they go out and do it." The medical world is keen to find out how two separate brains and nervous systems can work in such a perfectly co-ordinated way, but the twins and their family have always resisted non-essential medical tests.

"The family want to treat them as though they are just like everyone else," says Joy Westerdahl, the girls’ doctor, who admits that it is a mystery how their unique physiology functions.

As they enter adulthood, the twins are likely to leave the haven of their home town and face the wider world. In preparation for that time, they have taken part in this intimate documentary to show the world what it is like to be joined for life.

More great documentaries

83 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Raymond Jones

    One thought that keeps occuring to me is this:
    When it comes to marriage according to the State of Minnesota; are they considered 2 people or 1.

  2. blaice

    Could you imagine NEVER, EVER being alone? They have to be the most connected—literally and figuratively—out of any human beings in the world. Quite a spiritual bond with one another to be able to tolerate them constantly, forever.

  3. Proud Muslim Woman

    They are so amazing..I hope they have a good life.For all those who wonder how or why would God do this,know that He is the Most Wise and He never burdens a soul with more than they can bear.This just makes me belief in Him more for if there is no God why would this happen?

  4. blondemama

    what a wonderful family :)

  5. Peter Karwacki

    I would like to thank the twins and the producers of this film for sharing this fascinating glimpse into their lives. I have a greater appreciation for their personhood, and their teamwork and community's support.

  6. Victor Ferrari

    They're sooooooo cute!!! <3

  7. hpthoroughbreds

    thank goodness this is not the first doc i have enjoyed on this site. if it was i should never have returned after reading some of the ridiculous comments posted here. what ever happened to the concept of live and let live?? or religious tolerance? if someone is trying to force whatever on you there is always the option to say "no thank you" or "i disagree but respect your right to your opinion". how is it religion always ends up being an issue??? it was never even brought into the doc. PLEASE, for the rest of us who tolerate everyone's lifes decisions, save these diatribes for the appropriate documentaries.......and really, poop?? wtf....

  8. Rebecca Rose Hirschfield

    Why don't these films about conjoined twins EVER fully address issues of sexuality? I always find that a little frustrating. The doctor intimates that these girls have one uterus and that they menstruate normally. The girls say they want to be mothers but that, after all, they don't have it all figured out because they're just sixteen. How do they contend with the desire to have sex? Do they seek boyfriends?

    1. hpthoroughbreds

      i don't think that is anyone's business other than what is necessary between the girls and their physician. i mean, REALLY !!!! for god's sake, how intrusive do people have to be? im sure these remarkable girls and their remarkable family and friends will do just exactly as they have been doing.. FABULOUSLY. butt out!!

  9. Gary V

    Two truly remarkable Human beings, who have managed to overcome what Nature has given them. To all those who still believe the outdated myths of about the existence of a God, please tell me why in his divine wisdom did he create them & was it in his own image ? The girls should be an inspiration to us all, that no matter who life throws at us we can overcome it. I wish them both all the best for the future & hope that they both have a long & happy life.

  10. Ashurie

    As the only living pair, they should opt to have tests and try to figure out how it works. If it were me I'd want that, I'd feel obligated for any future conjoined twins in the same position, that maybe werent so lucky and had more complications. Im not saying they should let themselves become guinea pigs...but they should at least try to help further the knowledge of this condition. It could save other twins' lives.
    They seem to be lovely girls, I really hope they have long happy lives :)

  11. Xbow

    My sympathy to the both of them. Its situations like this that convince me that there is no compassionate loving god out there in the void watching over and nurturing his creations. On the contrary this would point to God as a cosmic clown with a vicious mean streak and cruel sense of humor. Or the more likely truth that the universe is devoid of an interventionist God altogether.

    1. NWOJC

      No, this does not prove "God as a cosmic clown." they are unique creation of God, God has a specific purpose and plan for them too. They are extraordinary, special creation of God himself. He loves them very much. They are not God's mistake. They are God's beautiful masterpieces. The daily cooperations and teamwork they go through is unimaginable and very touching. They were all meant to be and they were all part of God's plan. Like you shouldn't judge others if you don't know them, I don't think you should judge God if you don't personally know Him either.

    2. Stan59

      Serously, do you know God personally ?

    3. 0zyxcba1

      @ NWOJC,
      Surely, you jest.

    4. NWOJC

      No, this does not prove "God as a cosmic clown." they are unique creation of God, God has a specific purpose and plan for them too. They are extraordinary, special creation of God himself. He loves them very much. They are not God's mistake. They are God's beautiful masterpieces. The daily cooperations and teamwork they go through is unimaginable and very touching. They were all meant to be and they were all part of God's plan. Like you shouldn't judge others if you don't know them, I don't think you should judge God if you don't personally know Him either.

    5. Epicurus

      or maybe there is no god, and this is much more easily explained using science and nature.

      ugh...its 2011 people...get off this god nonsense. its getting silly.

    6. 0zyxcba1

      @ NWOJC,
      If your god crapped atop your head, you'd claim it was but part in some 'Great Cosmic Plan'.

  12. Syed Ali Imran

    Lolz, I wonder who would married to her / them. Man already face problems with only just one mouth of woman to speak...:P

  13. toddy

    By all means two remarkable people.

  14. ALS

    What happens if one of them dies before the other?

    1. Kahina

      I was wondering the same thing. I'm sure if one dies the other is doomed. This is perhaps the best argument for undergoing testing to find out more information about their condition. I can definitely understand their parents' decision not to do it when they were younger, though. It seems they made the right choices as the girls have grown up well-adjusted and perfectly normal. What a great family!!

  15. Lyn

    This was such an interesting documentary. People need to see this and learn to stop taking photos. Pretty impressive to overcome odds like that, and do the things that these girls do. Good for them for not submitting themselves to being lab rats, but living life to it's fullest and crossing the bridges when they get to them.

  16. jonas

    I think the big question is, how many tits does it have?

  17. sanford

    The girls, who were born in Carver County is a county located in the state of Minnesota. As of 2000, it has a total population was 70,205. Basically it's a rural area.

    I wonder if they had not been born in such a "tight knit" community, but rather they had been born and raised in a metropolitan area of half a million or more, with a much larger Junior High and High School if they would have been so protected by their community?

    I wonder too if children in Carver County who have other birth abnormalities, such as mental retardation, are as protected and accepted?

  18. Eloise

    Mary - forgive my presumptuousness, but I'm assuming English is your second language? They said the family refuse to allow the Doctors to perform tests that aren't necessary, in other words, they refuse to allow their daughters to be used as guinea pigs, and experimented on. That's not being abusive, that's being a loving and protective parent, who's willing to advocate for the good of their children.

  19. mary

    how could this not have been seen before birth. I think it is abuse that the mother does not let them receive proper medical care. This is a very sad video.

  20. psychedelic reflection

    they are so cute ! most probably they will become very wise people having to deal with so much !

    and they will never be alone !!! ;)

  21. hoototo

    and what is the rating on this documentary? does anyone know ?

  22. hoototo

    hope for the best for these two x

  23. hoototo

    who wrote and produced this documentary?

  24. paul

    two questions.... who gets the speeding ticket? when one dies what will happen to the other? I guess if one loses their license the other would have to drive with one arm and leg.

  25. Ankit

    i like this girl(s) n there co-ordination. grate......

  26. Charles B.

    Dr. Randy:

    "Randy09/28/2010 at 04:10 @Charles

    You know, you can cut into a person and find eyeballs, teeth, hair… even an entire hand, (like I saw once…) anywhere in the body.

    That all comes from one twin devouring the other in the womb. You have the same syndrome… interesting.

    Still think there is a beautiful god designing us?"

    Yes, I still believe God designed us. Genetically, the human race is degenerating with errors and the such that can compound (I've got a few), but originally we were made perfect. When the time comes, all things will be made new, and if I don't live to see that time, then I'll get a Heavenly "renovation" sooner rather than later.

    But I had a very thorough ultra sound scan done of my whole abdomen when I went to see the doctor earlier this year and it turned out normal (except for gall stones the size of bird's eggs (non-symptomatic)). Had there been any extra parts there (except for my 3rd nipple which is small), then I think they would have found them.

    The doctor said my vestigial nipple was most likely caused from when I was curled as an embryo, and when I "unfolded" the tissue broke off and planted itself further down. No worries he said. He's taken them off women before that were nearly full breasts. Now have a bikini with 3 cups would really be embarrassing on the beach, wouldn't it?

    Fortunately, both my kids are bi-nippled! :-)

  27. Rachel

    their life is more normal than my life

  28. Mister X

    Update - They go to Bethel University in St. Paul

  29. Tim Osman

    ^^^^^Lol I was thinking the same thing. The potential scientific knowledge that can be gained from these two is intoxicating. It's too bad they would rather live a life that is as normal as possible.

  30. Patrick Leonard


    Sounds like you are projecting a subconcious reaction.

  31. Sean Reid

    Wow! I thought I had problems! Those girls are definately worth two bucks a gander!

  32. Tim Osman

    Are we still even allowed to argue about the Soul in modern philosophy? Or is that sooo 1620 BC?

  33. Tim Osman

    aahhhh so the soul DOES exist. Good to know. lol anyway, the thing I find so intriguing about this is how the soul would relate to them. Are we in agreement on where the soul is contained? Because if it is in or on or of the body, it's probably in, on, or part of one or more of their duplicated parts right? Since there are two souls occupying one and a half bodies.
    As absurd as that sounds, my real point is, wouldn't this prove at least that the soul has nothing to do with the body?
    Or is that question settled already? And am I stuck in Descartes' world unnecessarily.

  34. Bianca

    Answer no.1: Like normal people.
    Answer no.2: Two as they are two seperate people.

    Even normal twins sometimes finish each other's sentences. No physical links are required to do that.

  35. Tim Osman

    I wish I could take that back, but for real, these girls need to be studied. Hard. 24hrs a day. How many souls do they have? etc...

  36. Tim Osman

    OK, I'm going to say it. How do they poop?

  37. Randy


    You know, you can cut into a person and find eyeballs, teeth, hair... even an entire hand, (like I saw once...) anywhere in the body.

    That all comes from one twin devouring the other in the womb. You have the same syndrome... interesting.

    Still think there is a beautiful god designing us?

  38. Charles B.

    It think whomever feels the need to use the restroom, etc. would depend on the spines the girls have. They have two spines. If they genitals were connected to both spines, then both would feel it, but if only one, then only one would feel the need to urinate, etc. I bet that is one of the things they don't want the scientists to start "testing". I bet the urinary/genital tracks are connected to only one spine.

    My wife wonders if they get married, will they have one husband or two, and if they have a baby, who will be the mother (both most likely), or perhaps the "married" one.

  39. Randy


    Oh, that is excellent! Kidney cancer can be scary, I am glad you seem to be beating it. (of course, I remember you...)

    I am currently having a re-occurance of my MS but... this too shall pass. Everybody, every now and then, has to take a beating.

    Well, I could explain all of those things that you mentioned, there... but... I ain't gonna... I have been too graphic on this site already...

  40. Nada

    @Randy - Yes, I'm feeling better. There is no sign of recurrence (of my kidney cancer) so that's cool! (not sure if I had mentioned that) How are you feeling? Better, I hope.

    @ Patrick - I was curious about their reproductive system too, but not in terms of their orgasms! That's too personal!!!

    Not that this is any less personal, LOL. But I was rather curious to know if they menstruate normally and who feels it. Same with the other bodily functions "down there" since they share just the one of everything. Do they both feel cramps, the urinating sensation, etc.? It was mentioned that they would be able to have kids but who's kid would it be? Anyhoot, too many questions that I probably won't ever get answers to, LOL.

  41. Randy


    You seem to be mixing the two of us, (Charles B. and I) up. Which is wierd...

    I am the aggressive atheist not worthy of respect.

    Charles is a fundamentalist, born-again christian.

    My WIFE never instigated anything, she is above this nonsense. Do not presume.

  42. Steve Peterson

    Charles, your burn was lame and although you have "money and power" you are not respected... besides your wife totally instigated the comment. Please have respect for those who do not believe in God and don't parallel it to being satanic, as it is not.

  43. Randy


    Hello! How are you? Feeling better?

  44. Nada

    Very cool documentary! :)

  45. patrick

    do they both get an orgazim? I know that's inappropriate but it's really the only aspect they didn't touch on or answer heh great documentary I watched the whole thing as it answered everyone of my questions!!

  46. Charles B.

    420 Vision: No one is still arguing as far as I know. I'm assuming apart from "firey darts of satanic hatred" or something like that every once in a while flung my way, everything is back to normal.

  47. Randy

    420 Vision

    All due respect, it is not about duh...ick size.

    I gave up comparing genitals in grade school, didn't you?

    It's about a man disrespecting my wife of 25 years. Everybody needs to take a beating, now and then...


    Many people are not worthy of my respect. They must earn it.

  48. 420 Vision

    I don't know what is more entertaining this amazing doco, or the ongoing verbal diharreha battle over Duh..ick size between Charles and Randy. LOL !!!!

  49. Susan L. Phillips

    I think these young women are something special for their personality not their physique. I really liked the whole family and especially the parents. They treated the girls as normal so the girls have grown up with opportunity, confidence, achievement, and best of all love. I was surprised they could ride a bike and if I were their parent never would of thought it was possible. Just goes to show you how special their living situation is. I bet these young ladies take on the world in a very special way. I hope they will continue to let us in for a peek of their impressive lives as its their personality that makes us want more. Do you think they still chew all that gum?

  50. Sadie the Celt

    @ Dozer

    Yes I agree with you.
    There is a time and a place for everything, but this particular post, is NOT the one - respect.

  51. Dozer

    Wow, amazing how you guys managed to f up the whole string with your shouting match. Well done! Not.

  52. Cliff T

    I wonder how they get on with their love life? Must be a strange situation for anyone.

  53. marcus

    id hit it

  54. Randy

    Keep in mind, Charles, that I was always nice ot you.

    I even stated many times that I would take a bullet for you.

    Well, now you done f*cked that up...

  55. Randy

    Oh, I think you do, Charles.

    You need to live in fear. I have money and influence.... one day, three men may knock at your door.

    One of these men will be wearing black leather and his hair is long and his goatee is pointed like Satan's. There may be sacred talismans woven into his long, leather coat.

    All three men will have aluminum baseball-bats...

    And then the screaming starts...

    But, HEY! How's by you? Want to diss my wife some more?

    Keep it up, Hamburger...

  56. Charles B.

    *Charles B. ignores Randy's silly post and doesn't care where he sticks his needles of satanic (little s) hatred*

  57. Randy

    *Randy glares at Charles B, his eyes needles of Satanic hatred*

  58. Charles B.

    Dicephalus twins usually don't live long; these two are extraordinary. The recent ones in the Philippines died within weeks. How could they ever marry? That's an interesting quesiton. We lost our twins, but they weren't conjoined.

  59. Randy

    @ml johnstone

    I KNOW!!!

    It happens because genetics is a random game of chance.

    What are YOU on about?

  60. ml johnstone

    This IS NOT about a 2 headed girl.
    This is about 2 persons conjoined.

    1. terry

      Best comment of the lot.

  61. Randy

    More proof that no Intelligent Designer is at the helm.

    Simple genetic anomolies and tragic mutations of the human genome (a roll of the dice, really), is eivident and clear.

    There is no intelligent Designer needed.

    Frankly, if there was, and it is capable of some of the genetic horrors that vomit onto the Earth... we must destroy that creature.

  62. Reasons Voice

    You are all good people who have commented here. I will not comment as my realism would lead to a more negative post.

  63. Cliff Goodrich

    These young ladies are an inspiration to all of us. I wish them well in everything they do. Thanks you, Ladies, for sharing your lives with us.

  64. Abid Latif

    Astonishing and at the same time surprised to see their life together. Wish them a life full of happiness with love from whole of the world.

  65. Caroline Harris

    Isn't the variety of possible life astounding!

  66. Achems Razor

    Finished watching the doc, they might share the same body, but they are separate entities, wish them the best, they are beautiful girls!

  67. Gloria Grimaldi

    I saw this a few years ago when they were in highschool and getting their driver's now they must be in their early twenty's. I think we need an up date. if they don't have an up date, then I wish them good luck, and happyness. they seem like they are not affriad of getting what they want..they did get their license that day..and is remarcable how they drive..your fan

  68. zardoz

    My advice - stay in your protective home town. You don't want to give some nut case like Pat Robertson a chance to call you monsters from the pit of hell sent here to punish the American people for sinning against the rich, or some such c@#$, and having mindless followers pelt you with tomatoes while making the sign of the cross, etc. Either that or move to a more sane country like Canada.

  69. pigdoor

    Woa!! THAT is a TWO headed girl!! I gotta watch this!

  70. Achems Razor

    Have known and saw this before, I think a movie or another doc. not sure, will watch again.

  71. Sadie the Celt

    now that was just incredible - what an inspiring documentary - I almost envy that family - they were all in harmony with each others feelings and needs. I had never given any 'serious thought' to the upset caused by people taking pictures and videos of others - without asking, but I see a different viewpoint now. those girls were strong and brave - they didnt choose to be that co-joined, and their parents had no idea - until the day they were born, I dont know if it would have turned out differently if they had the opportunity to change things earlier in the pregnancy - but I think if they had, they would never have experienced such joy - and the pride and hope that they have given to others.
    I love these type of documentarys - I am sometimes upset and afraid to watch them (and thats why I watch them!) - I feel all 'fuzzy' afterwards, but thats not because im 'smug' - Im just humbled - and in awe.

    @ Rhonda
    Rhonda, it seems that this documentay was made to celebrate the twins 16th brithday? They were taking their test on their 16th birthdy and so, as I gather they were born in 1990 - I deduce the Documentary was made in 2006.

    I had to smile at that London Specialist - Nicholas Fisk (?) - I just KNEW he so wanted to be allowed to examine the physical/mental workings the twins - like he said - they were totally unique - and obviously of enormous ENORMOUS interest to the medical profession as a whole.
    But hey-ho! thats where the family had the 'trump' cards - and thats what made me smile - because nothing was gonna invade those girls lives - their privacy and normal life (as they know it ) is fiercely protected - well done

    Thank you Vlatko - for a wonderful 'feel Good' documentary warmed the cockles of my heart!....dont wnt to seem greedy but any more?
    Sade the Celt

  72. Rhonna

    When was this documentary made? the girls are 20 now and probably in college. every couple of years the discovery channel airs an update on the girls.

  73. Bub

    wow, cool ! verry intresting stuff

  74. princeton

    Dude, didn't they make a movie about this?
    I guess real life can be much stranger than any amount of fiction.