Genetically identical twins with contrasting skin colour are believed to be first "black and white" twins born in the UK. The twins were reportedly formed in the same embryo but in different sacs.

Doctors at the University Durham Hospital had informed Libby Appleby, 37, and her 40-year-old husband Tafadzwa Madzimbamuto, an electrical engineer, that the twins would be so identical that they would be hard to tell apart. The outcome shocked the parents.

"We put them next to each other in a cot and couldn't believe how different they were. Amelia was so much darker than Jasmine, they barely even looked related," said Appleby. "Doctors told us the chances of conceiving mixed race twins are one in a million. We were thrilled they were so unique."

The darker of the twins was named Amelia and was born with black hair and brown eyes and her sister born with fair skin and blue eyes was named Jasmine. Despite strangers often assuming the twins are stepsisters, a sample of Appleby's placenta confirmed that they are genetically identical.

"They look like they're different races. Amelia is the spitting image of her dad, while Jasmine is a mini version of me. I don't blame strangers for thinking they aren't sisters, because they do look nothing alike," said Appleby who recently celebrated the twins' first birthday. "The girls are just noticing the difference in their skin colour now, but they're so wonderful and unique. Looking back, it's funny that we were worried we'd never tell them apart."