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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke January 24, 2023

Any resemblance is purely coincidental: These pictures aren’t proof of celebrity clones

If Your Time is short

  • Some celebrities have historic doppelgängers, but their photos aren’t evidence of cloning. 


Coincidence? Or evidence that some celebrities were cloned? This is the question an Instagram video posits as it compares historical photos with images of contemporary celebrities. 

And the answer is: coincidence. Although some bloggers have jokingly suggested that these actors and singers are time travelers, any serious claims of cloning are unfounded. 

The Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

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Among the doppelgängers: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Judy Zipper, a girl in someone’s grandmother’s 1960 yearbook. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Philip IV, who ruled Spain from 1605 to 1665 and was immortalized in several paintings by Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez. Former talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and writer Henry David Thoreau. Actor Orlando Bloom and 19th century Romanian artist Nicolae Grigorescu.

A 2022 paper in the journal Cell Reports found that doppelgängers share many of the same genes, Smithsonian magazine reported in August. The internet has enabled researchers to identify people with striking physical similarities more easily. 

It has also fueled some claims lacking scientific evidence, such as that the aforementioned people were cloned. We rate that False.

Our Sources

Instagram post, Jan. 22, 2023

E! News, What’s eating Judy Zipper?, June 19, 2012

BuzzFeed, Leonardo DiCaprio is actually a woman named Judy Zipper fom the 1960s, June 19, 2012

The Met, Philip IV (1605–1665), King of Spain, visited Jan. 23, 2023

Velazquez, Velazquez Philip IV in Armour Oil Painting Reproduction, visited Jan. 23, 2023

New England Historical Society, How the Thoreau pencil wrote, and paid for, Walden, visited Jan. 23, 2023

Artvee, Peasant women with distaff (circa 1900), visited Jan. 23, 2023

Smithsonian magazine, Doppelgängers don’t just look alike—they also share DNA, Aug. 24, 2022


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Any resemblance is purely coincidental: These pictures aren’t proof of celebrity clones

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