TWIN TOWN

A Town, It's a baby!

As you drive into the town of Candido Godoi in Brazil, you pass a sign informing you that you are in 'The Land Of Twins'. Covering an area of just half a square mile, the town claims to have the highest density of twins in the world - the result of a whopping 1 in 5 pregnancies. For decades, wild theories explaining the phenomenon were discussed - everything from rare minerals in the water to a genetic strain was discussed. But the theory that seems the most popular is far wilder and murkier. According to Argentine historian Jorge Camarasa, it is a result of the experiments of Josef Mengele, a Nazi officer also known as the 'Angel of Death'.

 

According to the theory, Mengele fled to South America in 1945, but continued to serve his cause by carrying out genetic experiments to help rebuild the Aryan race. Locals say that he spent a considerable amount of time in the town during the 60s, first claiming to be a vet, and then a physician who 'treated' women for varicose issues by giving them vials of a mysterious drug. Apparently, soon after that, the town began to be blessed by twins, all of them blonde and blue eyed.

In recent years, historians have tried to debunk the theory with evidence showing that the phenomenon existed long before Mengele visited the town, and that years of inbreeding between the town's residents - all of whom speak a German dialect instead of Portuguese - is a far more likely explanation. But the rumours about the town's Nazi connection still persist, drawing journalists, tourists and people fascinated by twins. After all, it's hard to kill a good story.

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