Conjoin yourself

BBC News | ASIA-PACIFIC | Snap! It’s the conjoined crocodiles

Staff at a Thailand crocodile farm are nursing an unusual new arrival: a pair of conjoined crocodiles.

and at the London review of books

On page 38 of this book appears one of the most remarkable photographs I have seen. It shows a young mother playing an energetic game (tag, perhaps, or pig-in-the-middle) with her three children, two girls and a boy. There are four lively, happy people in the photograph, but only six arms and six legs, for the two girls share a body. Between them they have two legs and two arms, but above a single pair of shoulders there are two necks, two heads, two smiling faces. One of Us is about conjoined twins, and its starting point is the conviction that often such twins should be thought of as two people inhabiting one body, not as two people inhabiting two not-yet-separated bodies. Clearly Abigail and Brittany Hensel (the six-year-olds to whose photograph I keep returning) can never be separated (though they do have two hearts); nor need they be, for they have a fit and healthy body, in which they can do all the things people normally do, except, of course, get away from each other.

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