IGBO-ORA, Nigeria—Twins appear to be exceptionally abundant in the town of Igbo-Ora in southwestern Nigeria.

Almost all families here have twins or other multiple births, says local chief Jimoh Titiloye.

For the past 12 years, the community has held an annual festival to celebrate the twins. This year’s event, held earlier this month, featured more than 1,000 sets of twins and drew participants from as far away as France, organizers said.

There is no proven scientific explanation for the high rate of twins in Igbo-Ora, a town of at least 200,000 people located 135 kilometers (83 miles) south of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. But many in Igbo-Ora believe this can be attributed to women’s diets. Alake Olawunmi, a mother of twins, attributes it to a local specialty called amala, made from yam flour.

John Ofem, a gynecologist based in the capital, Abuja, says it could very well “be that there are things they eat there that have high levels of certain hormones that are now causing what we call multiple ovulation”.

While this may explain the higher than normal rate of fraternal twins in Igbo-Ora, the town also has a significant number of identical twins. Rather, these result from a single fertilized egg splitting into two, and not from hyperovulation.

Obasekore twins Damilade (L) and Obasekore Damitola, 28, attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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Twins Oladapo Taiwo (L) and Oladapo Kehinde, 21, pose for photos holding a parent’s twins during the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, October 8, 2022. ( Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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Twins Taiwo Asisi (left) and Kehinde Asisi, 13, students of Igbo-Ora High School, attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, October 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/ AP Photo)
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Twins Taiwo Lateef (L) and Kehinde Lateef, 13, of Igbo-Ora town and Igbo-Ora High School students attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, on October 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/ AP Photo)
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Twins Kehinde Adamolekun (left) and Taiwo Adamolekun, 28, attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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Twins Taiwo Ojeniyi (left) and Kehinde Ojeniyi, 27, attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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The Taye twins, Tijani (left) and Kehinde Tijani, 48, pose for a photo at the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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Twins Taiwo Adebowale (left) and Kehinde Adebowale, 47, attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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Twins Kehinde Dahunsi (left) and Taiwo Dahunsi, 65, attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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Twins Kehinde Oyediran (left) and Taiwo Oyediran, 52, cassava farmers from Igbo-ora, attend the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, October 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
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Twins wait to perform during the annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora, southwestern Nigeria, Oct. 8, 2022. (Sunday Alamba/AP Photo)
The Associated Press

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