If you caught a glimpse of images that went viral earlier in the week, purporting to show a baby being born in the Red Sea in Egypt, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a bit odd.

However, the truth of what was really happening is perhaps even more bizarre.

Images which circulated on social media showed two men - reportedly the father and a doctor who was helping - carrying an infant child out of the water with its umbilical cord still attached.

The pair are then joined by the child's mother on the beach.

People who saw the images were quick to assume that the woman had given birth to the child while in the water, praising the 'beauty' of the moment. But this was not actually the case.

The Daily Mail reports that the baby girl's Russian mother and Serbian father had decided to bathe her in the ocean and that the placenta still attached because of the supposed health benefits it could bring.

Onlookers on the beach snapped the moment her father and a doctor carried the baby out of the water, clutching the placenta in an orange bucket and cradling the child.

Egyptian badminton player Hadia Hosny El Said posted the shots to her Facebook page, claiming they showed the woman giving birth in the ocean. She later deleted the post.

However, before the post was removed it was shared more than 2,000 times and received thousands of comments.

The practise of leaving the placenta attached to a new-born baby is a recent trend in the world of natural birthing methods and is referred to as a 'lotus birth'.

The umbilical cord remains uncut for between three and 10 days after birth until it naturally separates.

No studies have been conducted into the claimed health benefits of lotus births and therefore no evidence exists to support any medical benefits to the baby.

Featured Image Credit: CEN

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