No, you read the headline correctly.
A baby born ‘pregnant’ in China in 2010 was carrying two fetuses in her abdomen, according to the Hong Kong Medical Journal.
In prenatal scans, a large mass was found in the baby’s abdomen, which doctors believed was a tumor. When the baby was born, she was admitted to a neonatal unit and 14 days later, new scans revealed the mass was actually made up of two separate structures.
Within the structures were two small fetuses, complete with spines, well-developed rib cages, intestines, primitive brain tissue and were connected through an umbilical cord to a single placenta-like mass.
“Since it is impossible for the little girl to have conceived the pregnancy on her own, the fertilization of the twin fetuses, of course, belongs to her parents, which has gone to the wrong place,” a local doctor told the South China Morning Post.
Baby born pregnant with twin fetuses http://t.co/488UpPuugt pic.twitter.com/71kt1a863y
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@myfoxla) February 11, 2015
The baby girl recovered well from the operation and was discharged from the hospital.
Fewer than 200 cases of twin fetus-in-fetu, as this phenomenon is known, have been reported worldwide. It is estimated to occur in one in 500,000 births.
A baby girl was born pregnant with twins. Yes, you read that right. http://t.co/IN9vMgyKlh pic.twitter.com/QPqe4Y1Z4p
— POPSUGAR Moms (@POPSUGARMoms) February 10, 2015
It is not yet known how this phenomenon occurs, although some believe it could be the case that a baby in the womb absorbs a twin, or in this case, two babies in a set of triplet. The World Health Organisation defines it as a type of cancer.