Find out why conjoined twins are called “Siamese Twins”.

Chang and Eng Bunker were one of the earliest known pairs of conjoined twins. They were born in what is now known as Thailand in 1811, when the country was still known as the Kingdom of Siam. They moved to the United States and made a living making public exhibitions of themselves, and they were called the “Siamese twins” because of their country of origin. Since they were partially Chinese, they were actually known as “Chinese Twins” in Siam.

They lived very interesting lives. They both got married; Chang had 10 children, and Eng had 11. Their wives were sisters, so their children were cousins from both sides and, genetically, were also half-siblings. Their wives didn’t get along, so they had to have two houses.

The two twins died on the same day in 1874. Chang died from pneumonia. Eng refused to let his doctor separate him from his brother, so he died 3 hours later.

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