Where did you hear about the idea of doppelgangers? Word of mouth? see a picture somewhere? As with a lot of social ideas the doppelganger usually travels by story, people telling each other about their own doppelgangers or showing them famous faces that resemble their very own. From this sense of ownership a lot of virality is born, hence the idea of doppelganger's is so well known and hence this very website! We hope you enjoy finding out more about doppelgangers and finding your own facial match :)
"In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger [German "double walker"] is a paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune. In modern vernacular it is any double or look-alike of a person."
...Wikipedia's definition of doppel ganger does indeed explain its roots, born from the idea of a "clone", a carbon copy of ourselves, though as it rightly states the more modern take on it is far less sinster, seen more as a "look-alike" these days the meaning seems to have changed considerably over the past few hundred years. It wasn't just the German take on the phrase that was originally seen as evil either:
"In Norse mythology, a vardøger is a ghostly double who precedes a living person and is seen performing their actions in advance. In Finnish mythology, this is called having an etiäinen, i.e., "a firstcomer". In Ancient Egyptian mythology, a ka was a tangible "spirit double" having the same memories and feeling as the original person. In one Egyptian myth titled "The Greek Princess," an Egyptian view of the Trojan War, a ka of Helen was used to mislead Paris of Troy, helping to stop the war. In some myths, the doppelgänger is a version of the Ankou, a personification of death."
Its not all doom and gloom though, in recent times the doppelganger has been made very popular by social media sites like facebook and myspace, where you users can share your thoughts on your own doppelgangers, find your friends and compare their faces to the gliteratti's, recently also doppel-gangers have been the feature in several films:
"Doppelgängers are also a common theme in cinema, most notably in Henry Selick's Coraline, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Doppelganger from 2003, Avi Nesher's 1993 film of the same name starring Drew Barrymore, The Abandoned, and Dan Asenlund's 2011 short film Four Degrees of Jonas Rydell, as well as in many TV shows. Primer (film) (2004) featured doppelgangers which were created by way of a time machine. Solaris (1972) and Solaris (2002) had "manifestations" similar to doppelgangers on a space ship. The Australian film Lake Mungo features a portent of death to come. In 2010, the film Black Swan (film) tells a story about Nina Sayers, a dancer who lands the role as Swan Queen in Swan Lake; the film contains scenes of the character who sees a double of herself whenever she feels insecure of herself."
So away from their dark start in mythology and misfortune, doppelgangers have found their way into our current popular culture, featuring as a phrase not uncommon or rarely seen. In 2011 there was a famous "Doppelganger Week" where many of us posted photographs of our famous look alikey's onto our social media walls for seven days, a trend that could easily continue each year. Get ahead of the curve, Find your Doppelganger Now!.
Quoted sources: [Wikipedia] [Social Media Review].