"You think you're special and unique"? This Dublin girl's experience reveals that she's far from it after she met two women who look like her close to identical twins despite not being genetically related

A woman from Dublin, who set out with the task of finding a doppelgänger in 2015 and succeeded has now found another woman who is the spitting image or her despite being no relation. 

In 2015, Niamh Geaney and two of her friends set out to find their doppelgänger, defined as the "double of a living person", and she succeeded. Amazingly the first doppelgänger she found was living close to her in Dublin. Even more amazingly Geaney's managed to find a third doppelgänger residing in Italy. 

Geaney told the Australian TV show, "Sunday Night", about when she first saw Karen, her first doppelgänger, in Dublin. 

She said "The first two hours we didn't really say much to each other. We were just looking at each other silently.

"It's really cool but it's weird.

"You meet these people who look almost completely like you, but yet behind that you have different personality traits, different confidence levels even though you look the exact same."

Watch the footage of Geaney meeting Karen in 2015:

Three months after meeting Karen, Geaney traveled to Italy to meet another doppelganger, Irena.

Despite looking so much alike, Geaney and Irena's DNA was tested and they found that the pair weren't related even up to 20,000 years ago.

Geaney said 

"You think you're special and unique and there's no one in the world that's like you, and then you meet someone who looks identical to you and you realize you're not as unique as you thought you were."

Geaney isn't the only one either among the hundreds of doppelgangers around the world is Shannon Lonergan, from Ireland, who also found her twin in Sara Nordstroem, from Sweden. Famously these two doppelgangers played a trick on Lonergan's own Dad who couldn't tell the difference between to two. 

However, one reassurance for Lonergan is that the women's personalities could not be more different but there's also a kind of built-in closeness between them because they look so alike. 

She said "It's like a stranger but you know them. You can trust them because they look like you. There was no awkwardness ever."

Genetics Professor at Kings College, in London, Tim Spector, saw a video about two identical men meeting on a plane and began studying the phenomenon. 

Spector uses advanced facial mapping systems and 3-D imaging that can measure every contour of someone's face. Lonergan and Nordstroem took part in the study. They wanted to know how two people born thousands of miles apart could look so alike. 

Spector proved that Lonergan and Nordstroem facial features are 90% similar but he also proved that "genetically, they are strangers."

* Originally published in 2015, updated in April 2024.