A Ukranian village dubbed “The Land of Twins” for its extraordinarily common instances of twin births may be poised to enter the Guinness Book of World Records as its total number of twin pairs has surpassed 61.
Central European News (CEN) reported that Velikaya Kopanya, in southwest Ukraine, has fewer than 4,000 residents, making its high number of twins all the more notable. The village is about 450 miles from Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, and lies close to the borders of Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.
While genetics and alternative fertility treatments can influence whether a woman has twins, denizens in Velikaya Kopanya attribute their propensity to conceive twins to their clean water.
“The ultimate baby boom came in the year 2004,” Maryana Savka, a local councillor, told CEN. “But ever since then we are having at least between two and three sets of twins born every year."
The villagers say the area also has above-average births of cow twins.
The BBC reported in 2010 that twins in the village are held in high esteem and are often envied by their non-twin classmates.
For that 2010 story, the news site interviewed Maria Chorba, then 75 years old and reportedly the village’s oldest twin. Chorba told the BBC she has three pairs of twins among her grandchildren, and that twins have long been prevalent in the region, but she doesn’t know for sure whether the village’s water quality is the reason.
"When we were growing up we had some friends [who were] twins,” Chorba told the BBC, “so we are definitely not the first ones here.”