Funny FamilySearch should post this – Do You Have a Look-alike? Find Your Doppelgänger – FamilySearch: https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/find-your-doppelganger/ as I covered this topic a while back: Francois Brunelle – Doppelgänger Photographer September 15, 2019.
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.