How These Twin Babies Were Born with Different Skin Colors

Updated: Jul. 24, 2017

Scientific proof that love is colorblind.

These gorgeous gals drop jaws everywhere they go (and not just because they’re so adorable).

You may assume Kalani and Jarani Dean are just close friends, but the baby girls are actually twins. The dynamic duo portray their parents in the most unbelievable way: Kalani inherits fair skin from her mother, who is white, and Jarani has brown skin like her dad, who is black. Despite their stark physical differences, they share the same DNA.

The lucky parents are Whitney Meyer and Tomas Dean, from Quincy, Illinois. Meyer has been posting pictures of the unique pair since they were born last April, and their images have been going viral ever since.

The genetic phenomenon is exceedingly rare, but, of course, entirely possible. According to geneticist Jim Wilson to the BBC, there is about a one in 500 chance for mixed-race couples in Britain expecting twins that their babies will come out with different skin colors.

Courtesy Mary Kathryn Nourse/Elite PhotographyEssentially, Kalani and Jarani are dizygotic, the scientific term for fraternal twins. While monozygotic (identical) twins start off from the same egg and then divide later, fraternal twins start out as a separate fertilized egg.

In this situation, each embryo receives a different medley of genes from mom and dad. Because there are so many genes that control skin tone and eye color, even scientists can’t grasp all the potential ways they can interact. When the parents are of different races, the inherited genes for skin color can be distributed differently.

Meyer recently told TODAY that she considers the girls a symbol against racism and a sign to love everyone equally. “You can’t look at one and not love them both,” she said.“They’re the same girl, just different colors.”

Dean agrees: “I was like, ‘Yeah, she’s a little light,’ but I thought maybe babies are that way when they’re first born. But then a couple of minutes later, her sister came out a little darker,” he said. “In a million years, I never thought I’d have a girl with blue eyes. I didn’t think I could pull that one off!”

The girls just celebrated their 1st birthday this past April.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest