Historical Dopplegangers

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This week I'd like to bring you some of the most bizarre doppelgängers in history.

You're bound to have seen posts like these floating around the internet in your time, and they're always entertaining.

By KidCossack
The idea of a doppleganger comes from the German 'Double Walker', which is a paranormal double of a person that is normally associated with evil or misfortune. In Norse mythology a Vardoger was a spirit-like double that performed all of a living person's actions in advance. In Egyptian mythology, it was possible to have a 'ka' or spirit double who had the same memories and feelings as the original person.

In modern days, the word doppelgänger is assumed to be more like a 'clone' or 'look-alike'. Of course, there have always been identical twins in the world which are about as naturally similar as humans can get. (Though, it is worth noting, they are not technically clones of one another down at a deep genetic level due to differences in cell replication etc). We have even been manually creating clones through science for over a century! In 1885 through human interaction Sea urchin embryos were split , but it took until 1996 for Dolly the sheep to be created from non-embryonic cells. In 2013 it was believed that Shoukhrat Mitalipov and Colleagues created embryoinc stem cells from the non-embryonic skin cells of a human baby with a rare genetic disorder. Potentially, there is nothing to stop humans from being cloned in the near future.

While much of the superstition and sinister stories of dopplegangers have drifted away from our culture, there are still remnants remaining. Identical twins are often used as a shorthand for the creepiness of the doppelgänger and the idea of 'mirror doubles' of evil still persist in science fiction.

In the end, there is still something equally parts unsettling and fascinating about seeing a look-alike. Below are a whole series of celebrities and their historical dopplegangers...

Tom Cruise and Earnest Hemmingway in 1918
By Alixmc

 Eddie Murphy and an old photograph

 Sylvester Stallone and Pope Gregory 9th

Jay Z and 1939 Harlem Man

Huffington Post

Rupert Grint and Sir David Wilkie

 Ellen Degeneres and Henry David Thoreau

 Natalie Cassidy and Catherine of Aragon

George Carlin and Charles Darwin

 Peter Dinklage and 'Dwarf Sitting on the Floor'

Justin Timberlake and an old photograph

David Schwimmer and an 1890s gentleman

Glenn Close and George Washington

Leonardo Dicaprio and A Vintage Housewife

Stephen Fry and Oscar Wilde

...alright, well admittedly this isn't fair. he did play the writer after all.

Alexander Serverus and Eminem

 Barack Obama and Malcolm X

Marc Ghali
Micheal Cera and a Victorian Woman

Micheal Phelps and Civil War Soldier

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Roser Wilder Lane

Keaneu Reeve, a pirate Painting and Paul Mounet (1847-1922)

Hank Azaria and Rudolf Steiner

 Jack Black and the Barber of Seville

 John Travolta and 1860s Man

 Bruce Willis and General Douglas MacArthur

 Queen Latifah and Zoe Neale Hurston

Bill Nye and Abraham Lincoln

Philip 4th and Mark Zuckerberg

Nicholas Cage and...Everyone
Nicholas Cage has become a whole meme unto himself and, as a result, he seems to have a small army of doppelgängers in his arsenal.

Civil-War Era Tenessee Man

 The Virgin Mary

George Chandler

An old baseball player
Miley Cyrus

I hope this goofy post set you up for enjoying your bank holiday. Have a good one :)

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