Chilean Woman Carried “Stone Baby” For 50 Years

A 92-year-old woman in Chile had been carrying a fetus for the better part of 50 years, according to doctors who noticed the fetus inside the women’s abdominal cavity during an X-ray. The BBC reports that the calcified, 4.4 lb fetus is the result of a phenomenon known as a lithopedion, a rare medical condition that happens when the fetus dies during an ectopic pregnancy, floats around outside the uterus, the attaches itself to the outside of the uterus, calcifying and turning to stone. Excuse me?

It’s terrifying on some level to think that the child you thought you were carrying to term is actually hardening and turning to stone inside your body, as you unknowingly go about your life. The baby that you thought you were going to have never happened; there’s sadness and there’s loss, but you carry on, without any knowledge of this thing hardening inside you, until a routine X-ray picks up something strange. There it is, your stone baby.

The human body is an amazing organism. A woman carrying around a baby made of stone for years sounds like a punishment meted out by a vindictive sorceress in a fairy tale or the stuff of mythologies. But it happens in real life and is absolutely insane. [BBC]