Medics were left gobsmacked to discover a foetus inside a newborn baby's abdomen – that turned out to be that of its unborn twin.
They made the extremely rare discovery moments after the birth in Egypt on Saturday.
Doctors immediately rushed the boy to the operating theatre to remove a "foreign object" they had detected with ultrasound scans.
But they were stunned as it turned out to be his undeveloped identical twin.
It is believed to have entered his brother's abdominal cavity while they were developing embryos.
The newborn was delivered at nine months in the city of Zagazig, in the south-eastern Nile delta in northern Egypt.
Professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Zagazig University, Dr. Amr Abd El-Mohsen, who oversaw the birth told Real Press: “The baby was initially twins, however, one of the baby's embryonic cysts entered the abdominal cavity of the other child."
Dr El-Mohsen found the second baby during an ultrasound but did not know what it was.
He said: "I suspected that there was a foreign object in the abdomen of the baby in the seventh month of the mother's pregnancy, but it was not resolved then. It is the first time I've seen this situation."
Following the successful birth at Al-Tayseer International Hospital the baby was immediately rushed across town to The Al Mahd Children's Hospital.
There, a team of five doctors led by Dr. Mohamed Al-Akrashy successfully operated, managing to remove the undeveloped twin from the baby's abdomen, where it was stuck between the intestine and the abdominal wall.
Dr. Amr Abd El-Mohsen said: “Coordination was made with a paediatric consultant and the birth took place.
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"The child stayed for 24 hours under observation, and he was good, after we made a CT scan, we found an embryo inside the belly of the first child, and we performed surgery to clean the baby's abdomen."
The child is now recovering and is "in good health" following the rare ordeal that has been seen less than 200 times before.
Doctors involved with the incident are writing up their notes and findings to contribute the case to international research into what causes the phenomena.
The baby's family has been discharged but could not be reached for comment.
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