canadien photographer françois brunelle has a neat project/exhibit/book going called I’m Not a Look-Alike! in which he photographs pairs of people who look alike but who are not relatives — at least not as far as they are aware.

i love these two men from munich:


it would be sooo cool to check these people’s genomes out to see if they are crypto cousins or not. i betcha many of them are! especially the individuals from the same areas.

many of brunelle’s subjects seem to be from montreal/quebec, and since the number of founding french canadians was so small (ca. 6000), it’s not surprising that there should be a lot of doppelgangers in that population, since they really ARE all (relatively speaking) closely related! here are a pair of doppelgangers from montreal:

doppelgangers - montreal

(jayman posted a couple of links here on the blog once to two french-american politicians, one in canada and one in new england, who look very much alike, but i can’t find his comment now. dr*t! jayman…?)

(note: comments do not require an email. doppelgangers.)


  1. @gh – “…the Chilean president introduces Mariano Rajoy to the father of one of his staff who bears a striking resemblance to the Spanish prez.”

    that is sooo funny! (^_^)


  2. Here you go.

    (As an aside, LePage is interestingly highly fiscally conservative, and seems hell bent on trimming Maine’s social programs and services. One wonders if Quebec inbreeding has anything to do with that.)

    I’ve suspected that people who look alike or are otherwise highly similar are in fact distant relatives. It seems a lot of genetic assortment in both friendship (the uniquely NW Euro theme) and mating that J. P. Rushton discussed is about seeking out your long lost cousins. I agree, someone should do a genomic analysis of dopplegangers and see what their average degree of relationship is (almost certainly it will be higher than that of two random people).


  3. @g.w. – “i think ‘wow’ sums that up quite well :)”

    yeah, pretty neat! the two guys from munich are my favorite. they practically look like twins!


  4. Since we now know that the relatedness between two random co-ethnics can exceed that between an uncle and nephew, this really isn’t surprising. Good find. I am going to browse his archives.


  5. @r – “Since we now know that the relatedness between two random co-ethnics can exceed that between an uncle and nephew….”

    that would (should) depend on the mating patterns within the population.


  6. Just had a funny thought about tribes like the Alans or the Franks not just all being called Alan Alanson and Frank Frankson but all looking very similar as well like the two German guys – invasion of the clones.


  7. @avi – “Not convinced. Give people of similar age and clothing the same haircut, and you’ll get appearance – at least to our eyes – because of secondary cues.”

    you really don’t think so? i thought the guys from munich and montreal looked an AWFUL lot alike. some of brunelle’s other subjects, i agree — not so much.


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