Nature has given Alicia and Jasmin Singerl a little individuality.
But many do a double take when they realise Alicia and Jasmin are twins. It is believed that twins being born with such different physical characteristics is about a million to one.
The Australian sisters, who were conceived naturally, were born in May and live with their parents in Burpengary, north of Brisbane.
Their mother, Natasha Knight, 35, is of mixed-race Jamaican-English heritage, while their father Michael Singerl, 34, is a white German.The couple, who are engaged, also have five-year- old daughter, Taylah, who is a blue-eyed blonde with an olive complexion.
Miss Knight said they had speculated during her pregnancy about what would happen if each twin entirely took after one parent.
“It’s just amazing, they are so different,” she said. “When they were born you could see there was a colour difference straight away. We couldn’t believe it.
“Alicia’s eyes were brown and her hair was dark. Jasmin’s eyes were blue and her hair was white – you could hardly see her hair or her eyebrows.
“Someone even asked me if I was sure there wasn’t a mix-up at the hospital. But there was no mix-up – they are my girls and they are both so beautiful.
“We were joking when I was pregnant about what if one baby looked like me and one looked like Michael? We joked about one light one, one dark one, so it was amazing when it actually happened.
“When we go out people stop and ask if they are twins. Other people will look but not say anything. Maybe they think I am babysitting one of them.
“It will be interesting when they go to school and they will probably wonder why they look so different from each other. I guess the easiest way to explain it will be to say one took after Mum, one took after Dad.”
Genetics experts say that in most cases a mixed-race woman’s eggs will be a mixture of genes for both black and white skin.
However, more rarely, the eggs may contain genes for predominantly one skin colour.
In this case, there were two such eggs, one with dark pigmentation genes and one fair.
Clinical geneticist Dr Stephen Withers said the likelihood of a mixed-race woman having eggs that were predominantly for one skin colour was rare enough, let alone producing two of them, resulting in twins.
“It’s probably a million to one,” he said. “It’s a terrifically rare phenomenon.