10 of the World's Most Famous Conjoined Twins

Abby and Brittany Hensel
Abby and Brittany Hensel

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center one in every 200,000 live twin births worldwide are conjoined, though 40 to 60 percent are stillborn and 35 percent of those who survive only live for a day.

Conjoined Twins (less commonly referred to as Siamese Twins following the birth of Chang and Eng Bunker in Siam), are genetically identical, develop from the same egg, and often share vital human organs and limbs.

Abby and Brittany Hensel are about to be the United States' most famous conjoined twins. Their lives"Abby & Brittany," will be featured in a documentary series airing Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 10 p.m. on TLC. Here's a quick look at their story, plus the stories of nine pairs who've made history around the world.

10. Abby and Brittany Hensel Abby and Brittany Hensel were born in 1990. Their parents were told they probably wouldn't survive the night, but 22 years later, the two are off to college.

Their case is rare; they have two hearts, two sets of lungs, and two separate brains. One controls the right side of the body, the other the left side, but the two move together, have two drivers licenses, ride a bike, and navigate the daily lives of 20somethings with ease. Since they were born, the two have been featured in magazines and talk shows.

Chang and Eng Bunker
Chang and Eng Bunker

9. Chang and Eng Bunker Chang and Eng Bunker were born in 1811 in Siam (now Thailand). Their livers were fused together and could have easily been separated with modern medicine, but since the operation was much more difficult in their time, the two remained conjoined.

Like many conjoined twins, they toured the world as entertainers and made money as spectacles and medical wonders. Eventually, the two married sisters, settled in North Carolina, and had more than 20 children.

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