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Chang and Eng conjoined twins, 19th century

Chang and Eng conjoined twins, 19th century

C046/8402

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27.2 MB (27.0 MB compressed)

2876 x 3307 pixels

24.4 x 27.9 cm ⏐ 9.6 x 11.0 in (300dpi)

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Credit

COLLECTION ABECASIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY COLLECTION ABECASIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Chang and Eng (1811-1874) were conjoined twin brothers born in Siam (now Thailand), giving rise to the term Siamese twins. Conjoined twins are identical twins born with their bodies joined at some point and having varying degrees of residual duplication, a result of the incomplete division of the ovum from which the twins developed. Chang and Eng were joined at the sternum (breast bone), and their livers were fused but functioned independently. After being discovered by a British merchant in 1829, they were exhibited around the world as a curiosity. They later settled in North Carolina, USA, and became naturalized US citizens. They bought a plantation and slaves, adopted the last name Bunker, and raised families. The twins died on the same day in January 1874. Chang, who had pneumonia, died in his sleep. Eng refused to be separated from his dead brother, and died a few hours later. Artwork from 'Hygiene et Medecine Des Deux Sexes' (1890) by French author Alexis Clerc (1841-1894).

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