IRELAND (ABC) – Two women from Ireland, who are spitting images of each other, freaked out when they came face-to-face for the first time.
Through the power of social media, Niamh Geaney, 26, found her doppelganger, Karen Branigan, 29.
The two met in-person this past weekend at Geaney’s home in Dublin, which turned out to be only an hour away from Branigan’s place in Drogheda.
“I thought I would be fine until I knew I was about 10 minutes away from meeting her,” Geaney told ABC News Wednesday. “Then I started to get ridiculously nervous wondering how I would react to meeting someone that looks like me. I would be looking at my own face!”
Geaney and Branigan’s meeting was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube. The two can be seen putting on make-up and doing their hair the same way to make themselves look even more alike.
“For the entire duration of our encounter, I pretty much stared at her,” Geaney said. “I couldn’t get over her face and some of the expressions she would pull. I would think to myself or aloud, ‘Oh my God, that’s my face.’ I can’t remember the number of times I said, ‘This is so freaky.’ It was truly amazing.”
The meeting was the result of “Twin Strangers,” the online social media campaign Geaney and her friends started to try to discover their lookalikes from around the world.
Geaney and her pals, Terence Manzanga, 22, and Harry English, 26, challenged each other to see who could find the most convincing doppelganger within a month, she said.
The three of them have been using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, their official site and word-of-mouth to hunt down their lookalikes, Geaney said, adding people can submit themselves or tag friends they think could be doppelgangers.
“The power of social media is incredible,” she said, adding submissions are coming in from all over the globe, including the U.S., New Zealand, South Korea, Philippines, India and Israel.
So far, Geaney is in the lead, she said. She has the most submissions, and she’s already found and met Branigan, who looks almost identical to her. English and Manzanga have had a few submissions, but none are as close as Geaney and Branigan, they told ABC News Wednesday.
There are 15 days left in the challenge, and an online vote will decide who wins, they said.
“After that, the competition officially finishes, and we will hopefully go and meet our best match in the flesh,” English said, adding he and Manzanga would try to “muster up funds” to travel if their doppelgangers were faraway.
“I think we would all love a trip to New York, Paris or The Caribbean to meet our doppelganger!” he said.