A baby in Colombia has been born with her own twin growing inside her belly. The girl, born in February, is an incredibly rare example of a 'foetus in foetu' birth.
This strange phenomenon was first observed way back in 1808 but has not been seen on many occasions since then.
Itzamara - as the young child has been named - was born on 22 February but, according to local media, medical staff then had to remove a tiny 45 millimetre twin from within her via keyhole surgery.
The twin did not have a beating heart, nor a brain. In fact, it weighed only 14 grams.
Monica Vega, the baby's mum, said that doctors actually realised that something was inside her unborn daughter's abdomen after seven months of her pregnancy.
According to local TV show Los Informantes, Itzamara's twin was growing inside its own amniotic sac - the fluid-filled sac that is normally there to keep a foetus safe whilst inside it gestates inside its mother's womb - with an umbilical cord, and arms and legs.
Doctors believe that this could be the very first case of foetus in foetu being diagnosed during the pregnancy.
Dr Miguel Parra said: "I have never heard of anything like this in my entire life. I really did not expect this to happen."
The medical staff made the decision not to allow Monica's baby daughter to reach full term before delivering her. That decision was taken so that the foetus growing inside her would not continue to do so.
If it had been left, the growing foetus - which, let's remember, had no brain and no functioning heart - could have caused permanent damage to the organs of the healthy baby.
Luckily, Itzamara was delivered safely after 37 weeks and reports suggest that the baby girl is in a healthy condition following both her birth and the keyhole surgery that was required to remove her malformed brother or sister from within her abdomen.
Local media states that something like this occurs in only one out of every 200,000 pregnancies.
It is to do with embryo division. If the embryo divides after two weeks, it is more likely that the siblings will be conjoined. However, in this case the embryo divided after 17 days.
Luckily, both mother and child are thought to be in a healthy and stable condition in this instance. Reports suggest that the baby girl is recovering from her ordeal in the hospital in which she was born.
Featured Image Credit: CEN