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This Nigerian city has been holding its yearly Twins Festival for the past 12 years

For the past 12 years, a community organises an annual ‘Twins Festival’, where twins from Igbo-Ora and elsewhere gather to celebrate their existence. Nearly every family has twins or other multiple births in Igbo-Ora, a southwestern city of Nigeria.

Igbo-Ora, in Oyo State, southwest Nigeria, is a city and the administrative centre of Ibarapa Central. It is about 80 km (50 km) north of Lagos. In 2006, there were roughly 72,207 residents living in the town.

The unusually large number of twin births in the region has earned the town the nickname ‘Twin Capital of the World.’ This phenomenon of a large number of twin births is not unique to Igbo-Ora; it has also been observed in the town of Kodinji in India, and Cândido Godói in Brazil.

In Igbo-Ora, research has suggested that the multiple births could be related to the eating habits of the women in the region. Though no direct relation between dietary intake and twin births has been proven, a research study carried out at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital has suggested that a chemical found in Igbo-Ora women and the peelings of a widely consumed tuber (yams) could be responsible.

This year, more than 1,000 pairs of twins participated in the annual festival. Here are some of the photographs from this years festival:



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