These Twin Sisters Look Absolutely Nothing Alike

Remember all those times that Jessica Wakefield posed as her twin sister, Elizabeth, and all sorts of highly questionable, wacky hijinks ensued? The Sweet Valley High books would have gone a completely different way if the Wakefields had been like the Lucy and Maria Aylmer, British twins who look nothing alike. Lucy has blue eyes, straight red hair, and very pale skin. Maria, in contrast, has dark eyes, brown skin, and dark curly locks. The visual discrepancy between the pair, aged 18, is due to their mixed-race parentage. The twins’ father is white, and their mother is half-Jamaican. The twins’ looks are simply a matter of genetics, and of inheriting different physical traits from their mother, Donna. As The Daily Mail points out, it’s quite common for people of Afro-Caribbean heritage to carry Caucasian genes, due to a long history of slavery in the Caribbean (when white European masters often fathered children with black female slaves); this, along with the fact that Donna is already of mixed race, only increases the likelihood that she would pass on white genes. In the case of the Aylmer twins, Maria inherited genes for both light and dark skin from her parents, while Lucy inherited only those for light skin.

Lucy and Maria report that they often have a hard time convincing people that they’re related, let alone twins. Lucy told The Daily Mail:

No one ever believes we are twins. Even when we dress alike, we still don’t look like sisters, let alone twins. Friends have even made us produce our birth certificates to prove it.

With Lucy in school for art and design and Maria studying law, the twins also have very different interests and goals. Nevertheless, the pair is as close as any other set of twins. Lucy describes:

Maria was outgoing whilst I was the shy one. But Maria loves telling people at college that she has a white twin – and I’m very proud of having a black twin.

Scroll down to see photos of the pair as children.

Images: Paula Unger/Twitter