Swedish girl finds her Irish doppelgänger


Swedish student tracks down her Irish lookalike on website ‘Twin Strangers’

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Useful Vocabulary

spookily: in a way that seems strange, as it cannot be explained, or that it is intended to be frightening

double: in filmmaking, a person who substitutes another actor such that the person’s face is not shown

track down: find someone after a thorough or  difficult search

pout: to push out the lips in a sexually suggestive way

hilarious: extremely funny

run in: an argument or quarrel with someone

bump into: to meet somebody unexpectedly

Listen to the audio and read the text.

Swedish girl finds her Irish doppelgänger

Someone who looks spookily like you, but isn’t a twin, is a doppelgänger. Originally, this was a type of ghost.

The word doppelgänger is German and literally means double walker — as in a ghost or shadow of yourself. An easy way to remember it is that doppelgänger sounds like double, as in “That movie star is my double. We look so much alike.” These days, most people don’t refer to the ghost meaning when talking about doppelgängers: they just mean someone who looks a lot like you or could be your twin. Still, that is pretty spooky.

A Swedish teenager has travelled to Dublin to meet her Irish doppelgänger. Sara Nordstorm, aged 17, successfully traced 21-year-old Shannon Lonergan, from Ireland, on website called Twin Strangers, a service dedicated to helping people track down their lookalike.

The two were shocked when they met one another, with Ms Lonergan saying, “Our noses, our eyes — we have the exact same ears, lips expressions, pout, smile… it’s just weird”.

The pair said even friends and family were unable to tell them apart.

Twin Strangers released a video showing the first time Sara and Shannon met one another. The pair later took a trip into Dublin city centre, where they were asked by a worker at the Christmas fair if they were twins.

Ms Lonergan told the Belfast Telegraph: “When my dad first saw myself and Sara, he did not know where to look. “His facial expressions were hilarious and showed how shocked he was.

Ms Nordstorm said: “The more I saw her, the more I saw myself.”

Sara and Shannon are not the first doppelgängers to meet this year. A man tweeted a photo of a friend’s husband who had an unexpected run-in with a lookalike on a flight earlier this year. The photo was shared by thousands of people on social media.

Experts say the scientific probability of meeting someone who looks exactly like you is extremely low. “The overall chance of finding someone who looks exactly like you is really very small,” Sir Walter Bodmer, a human genetics professor at the University of Oxford told the Telegraph.

“The human face is extraordinarily unique. I mean, think about it. The chance has to be quite low. Otherwise you would be bumping into people who looked like you all the time, and you don’t.”

Adapted from this article by ECP coach Darren Lynch

Let’s chat about that

  1. Has somebody ever told you that you reminded them of someone they know?
  2. Do people ever tell you that you look like somebody famous?
  3. Would you be interested in meeting your doppelgänger?
  4. If your lookalike contacted you, how do you think you would react?
  5. How much do you think our physical appearance affects our lives?
  6. Would you expect your doppelgänger to have a similar lifestyle to you, and do you think you would get on well together?