The Reason Married Couples Look Alike Is Pretty Weird

In a similar fashion to how pet owners tend to look like the animals they have, married couples will often look like they're more brother and sister than they are husband and wife.

Ever wonder why that is?

Well, it seems that the similarities in appearance of those who are married isn't because of chance. Instead, it's literally because they could have similar genes to begin with, according to EurekAlert.

A recent study published in PLOS Genetics found that, in older generations, people tended to marry others who shared some similar type of ancestry with them.

According to the study authors, this weird tendency to drift toward people with a comparable family tree can greatly impact the genetics of people within a certain area.

Until recent years, most people looking for love tended only to pick someone from within their surrounding areas — likely due to accessibility and proximity — which often contained people of a similar genetic history.

As this pattern repeated over long periods of time, those married couples who shared a similar ancestry then had kids, and as that cycle continued through generations, scientists realized it may have significantly impacted any genetic studies conducted in that area.

During their very first examination of the patterns of married couples sharing similar genes in specific areas across the United States, researchers focused on partners from three different generations of people from Framingham, Massachusetts.

These individuals all took part in the Framingham Heart Study, a heart health study that began in 1948.

After genetically determining the ancestry of grand total of 879 married couples, researchers found those of Northern European, Southern European and Ashkenazi descent were most likely to drift toward spouses who shared the same background as them.

This is still so odd, but hey, to each his own. Some people don't look to branch too far outside their own box.

As time went on, researchers noticed the following generations tended to drift away from this pattern, with people becoming less likely to choose a spouse who shared a similar background. And any genetic structures resulting from these mating patterns also deteriorated.

It's unknown if these findings carry over to different communities, but it's something worth researching more in the future.

Researchers concluded that these genetic similarities within the same area could result in some "false positives" when identifying specific genes and their connections to diseases present in certain areas.

It may also alter how a disease could be passed on genetically from generation to generation.

The moral of this story is that people should stay far away from anyone with the same ancestry. You're confusing researchers and, frankly, just grossing people out.

Change is good, I promise.

Citations: Married couples with common ancestry also share similar genes (EurekAlert)