Life is pretty strange. For around 30 years, “twins” William and Wilber Cañas Velasco believed, despite their differences, that they were related to one another. But one chance encounter at work would change their lives forever and test the bounds of brotherly love.
On a Saturday afternoon in 2013, William Cañas Velasco was working at a butcher shop in Bogota, Colombia when he received a strange visit from two young women.
William was working at a butcher shop when he had a chance encounter…
She waved at him and smiled. Though they had never met, she acted as if they were good friends.
“That’s Jorge!” the girl told her friend, according to the New York Times. “He works in my office.”
After a brief introduction, though, the girls realized their mistake and apologized. They joked if William had a twin—in fact, he did have a fraternal twin brother, Wilber. Then the girls became somewhat suspicious. Before they left the shop, they asked to do one thing: take a picture with William to memorialize their encounter, and he happily agreed.
However, that fateful encounter would set two sets of brothers on a collision course with the truth.
Six months went by and William did not hear anything more about it, but he could not shake the feeling that there might be someone else out there like him. He and his brother, Wilber, were not very similar; in fact, the two could not spend too long together without getting on each others’ nerves.
The chance-encounter deeply affected William—he had to learn more, but first he needed to tell his brother.
He decided to look deeper. He contacted the young woman who had taken his picture to find out more. She sent him what he was after, but it was a difficult revelation.
The young woman sent a photo of William and Wilber. Except, William did not remember taking the picture. The two men were actually Jorge, and Jorge’s fraternal twin brother Carlos. The resemblance was uncanny.
But beneath the photo was the information they had been dreading: the two young men, Jorge and Carlos, were born on the same day at the same hospital as William and Wilber.
A mix of shock, elation, and terror washed over William.
William relayed the story back to his brother Wilber. But despite his brother’s anxiety, Wilber seemed unfazed.
“So we were swapped,” Wilber told his brother according to the New York Times. “I don’t care who they are. You’re my brother, and you’ll be my brother until the day I die.”
Touched by his brother’s devotion, but still curious, William decided to arrange a meeting with Jorge.
William set up a meeting with Jorge, his long-lost identical twin.
An appointment was made, and when they finally met neither could believe it. They were happy and nervous all at the same time, and they knew they had to arrange a meeting between all four of the brothers.
When the day finally came, the four men could not believe the similarities. Not only were there physical similarities, but even their personalities and mannerisms were similar. Carlos and Wilber even sat the same way.
“It was like staring through a mirror, and on the other side of the mirror, there’s a parallel universe,” Jorge told New York Times.
Carlos and William were switched at birth by nurses at the hospital, according to the New York Times. The two lived completely different lives than what they would have—Carlos escaped poverty while William lived a difficult life. Still, the four are happy to have met one another.
But a simple reunion was not enough. Instead, they all decided to rent an apartment in the city of Bogota, and live together. They wanted to get to know each other better, and make up for all the lost time.