Do You Have a Look-alike? Find Your Doppelgänger – FamilySearch November 20, 2019

Funny FamilySearch should post this – Do You Have a Look-alike? Find Your Doppelgänger – FamilySearch: as I covered this topic a while back: Francois Brunelle – Doppelgänger Photographer September 15, 2019.

November 20, 2019  – by  Jessica Grimaud

Have you ever scrolled through those celebrity look-alike articles and wondered, “Who out there looks just like me?” Or maybe you’ve done a double-take when you did see someone who looked just like you—and you wondered, how could that be possible?

We often call these “look-alikes” doppelgängers, a German term that means “double-walker.” In old German folklore, living creatures were believed to have a spirit double—something distinct from ghosts, but still supernatural—that were sometimes seen as spiritual opposites or “evil twins” to the living individual. However, today “doppelgänger” is a generic term we use for the (most likely) harmless look-alikes we stumble across in everyday life.


Do You Have a Doppelgänger?

How likely is it that you actually have a doppelgänger? According to one study, the likelihood of two people sharing the exact facial features is less than 1 in 1 trillion. Put another way, there is only a one in 135 chance that a single pair of doppelgängers exists on our planet of more than 7 billion people.

However, these odds apply only if we are being exact about the measurements of a person’s facial features. The thing is, our brains don’t work like algorithmic facial recognition software; we don’t look at someone’s facial features in isolation from one another. Instead, our minds recognize people’s faces as a “sum of parts”—that is, we take in the whole face at once and don’t get caught up in millimeter measurements of someone’s ears or nose.



About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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5 Responses to Do You Have a Look-alike? Find Your Doppelgänger – FamilySearch November 20, 2019

    • In my earlier blog post, I mentioned how a local mistook me for a close friend of his. I have yet to meet this person, but would be curious to see how close we look. If it wasn’t a close friend of my “twin”, I could see a casual acquaintance mistaking me for him.

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  1. Pingback: Please Do Not Rely on Photos to Try and Prove Or Disprove Relationships – May 15, 2020 | Ups and Downs of Family History V2.0

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