The elementary school in Þorlákshöfn, which has a population of approximately 1,500, held its end of school ceremony for the 50th time recently. At the occasion, five pairs of twins graduated from their respective classes.
The elementary school in Þorlákshöfn. From the school’s website.
“Some statistician called and said that the odds of this happening were astronomically slim, especially in such a small school,” assistant principal Jón H. Sigurmundsson told Morgunblaðið.
Moreover, two of the pairs of twins were in the same class and share a birthday, June 1. “So they have just turned 13. Of course this is just fantastic,” added principal Halldór Sigurðsson.
According to Jón, it is not necessarily a coincidence that there are so many twins in his school. “One used to notice that birthdays were connected with the fishing seasons, back in the day when they were proper seasons.”
Jón refers to the Icelandic vertíð, when young out-of-towners and locals worked hard on processing the fish landed in the country’s seaside villages during fishing seasons, and partied when they got the chance.
“One was able to count [the months] from the end of the season. I’ve also come to notice that the Merchants’ Weekend has been fruitful,” he added, referring to verslunarmannahelgin, the annual long outdoor festival weekend in early August.
When asked whether courtship is different in Þorlákshöfn than in other parts of the country, which might explain this high birth rate of twins, Jón said he doesn’t know much about courtship but Halldór thanked the local water, which he describes as the best in the world.
Halldór might be on to something there given that Icelandic Glacial, the product of Icelandic Water Holdings, the largest exporter of Icelandic water, comes from the nearby Ölfus spring and the bottling plant is located in Þorlákshöfn.
According to the University of Iceland Science Web, fraternal twins run in the family to some extent whereas identical twins do not. Two of the pairs of twins in Þorlákshöfn are fraternal.