Woman Who Set Out to Find Doppelganger Online Meets Her Third “Twin Stranger”

They say we all have seven doppelgängers scattered across the world, but you’d be lucky to meet just one of them in your lifetime. However, one Irish woman has had the good fortune of meeting not one, not two, but three other women who look almost exactly like like her. And she’s now made it her mission to find the other four!

Niamh Geaney launched a project called ‘Twin Strangers’ – a website where people can upload their photographs and find their lookalikes for a small fee. She wanted to find her own doppelgänger within 28 days, and was amazed to discover Karen Branigan, a spitting image of herself, living just an hour away.

Photographs of Karen and Niamh went viral and nobody, including them, could get over the coincidence of two unrelated people resembling each other so closely. “For the duration of our encounter, I pretty much stared at her,” Niamh later said. “I couldn’t get over her face. And some of the expressions she would pull I think to myself or say aloud, ‘Oh my God, that’s my face.’ I can’t remember the number of times I said ‘this is so freaky’. It was truly amazing.”


Niamh Geaney and Karen Branigan

Thrilled with her success, Niamh kept searching, and within weeks found her second lookalike – Luisa Guizzardi. She flew all the way to Genoa, Italy, to meet her, and that turned out to be an epic meeting. Luisa’s friend Andrea said they shared the same ‘aura’, while Luisa’s mom said: “From a distance, I thought you were Luisa.”


Niamh Geaney and Karen Branigan

Niamh got all teary eyed over the fact that their facial features weren’t the only common factors between them. “This is crazy how I am getting so emotional,” she said. “Our movements, gestures, and the way we scruffle our nose is similar, we play with our hair the same way.”


Niamh Geaney and Karen Branigan

“Not only do we look the same, but we have the same soul,” added Luisa. “Like soulmates.”


Niamh Geaney and Luisa Guizzardi

Niamh made her third miraculous discovery only a few weeks later – another doppelgänger named Irene Adams, who also lives in Ireland. Speaking about it, Irene said: “I was out shopping and a girl from school who I hadn’t talked to in years was telling me about this ‘Doppelgänger girl’ all over YouTube that was my twin. I hadn’t heard about the project so I went home and out of curiosity looked it up.”


Niamh Geaney and Luisa Guizzardi

“I then received a Facebook friend request from Niamh and a funny message about how she thought we looked alike. I was intrigued so decided to meet up with her.”


Niamh Geaney and Luisa Guizzardi

Niamh travelled to Sligo, on Ireland’s West Coast, for the meeting and once again, she simply couldn’t believe her eyes. “Aside from the facial and physical similarity (the way our eyes crinkle when we smile, the way our nose crinkles, the way our hair is the exact same color etc) we both actually move the same way,” she said. “We are both extremely enthusiastic about things (overusing the word ‘mental’ and ‘amazing’ on every occasion) and both share the same sarcastic sense of humor. We have a similar adventurous approach to life we could be sisters!” In fact, Irene’s own sister Aoife (who features in the video footage of the meeting) looks less like her than Niamh does.


Niamh Geaney and Irene Adams

“Aoife encouraged me to go for it and was genuinely amazed at the resemblance between myself and Niamh,” Irene said. “It was surreal when we all met up and Aoife was the first to say that Niamh and I looked more like sisters than myself and Aoife. I’d say more people have told me I look like Niamh in the past few weeks than have told me I look like my sister in the past 26 years.”


Niamh Geaney and Irene Adams

Niamh is now hooked to the idea of discovering more doppelgängers, she says the feeling just can’t get old. “You never lose that excitement mixed with nerves before coming face-t0-face with your lookalike, it’s just as nerve-racking as the first time!” she said. “All these questions run through your mind: ‘Will she look like me?’, ‘Will she think like I look like her?’, ‘What is she like?’, ‘Is she nice?’”


Niamh Geaney and Irene Adams

“Then, on meeting her, you feel amazement, wonder and awe take over, along with an overwhelming desire to ask her a million and one questions (to see if she’s like you in other ways!)”


The feeling, she believes, is so awesome that she wants others to experience it too. And she’s helping people do that through her Twin Strangers facial recognition project, along with her friends Harry and Terrence. They started off with a Facebook page, but due to huge demand, they had to move the project over to a separate website. And they’ve had several success stories so far.


“There is a huge human curiosity element to it,” she said. “Can you imagine how surreal it would be to meet someone who looked exactly like you?”


“We now have over three quarters of a million users on the site and Twin Strangers are connecting through it every day. It’s been an amazing journey so far and we don’t really know where it’s going to end! We want to help other people to also have that creepy, amazing experience of meeting their lookalikes. And for people we feel are really close matches, we’re going to offer to pay for their flights and accommodations, so they can meet in person, too.”


In the meantime, Niamh intends to stay friends with Karen, Luisa, and Irene, and wants to keep looking for more of her lookalikes to welcome to the ‘Niamh family’. “I really do think I have another friend for life and God help me if I find my seven because they’re never going to get rid of me.”

Photos: Niamh Geaney/Twin Strangers

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