Mother gives birth to real life "mermaid" in tragic story that gripped the world
The baby was born to poor manual laborer parents who had been unable to afford the proper medical care.
In one of medicine's incredibly rare phenomena, and a condition which can only be described as an anomaly, a mother in India gave birth to just the country's second ever 'mermaid baby.' Unfortunately for the parents, due to certain complications, the baby passed away four hours later.
The baby suffered from a condition known as sirenomelia or 'mermaid syndrome,' an extremely rare congenital developmental disorder characterized by anomalies of the lower spine and the lower limbs. It gives the limbs an appearance of a mermaid's tail, hence the name.
The condition is found in approximately one out of every 100,000 live births and is almost certainly fatal within a day or two of birth because of issues with abnormal kidney and urinary bladder development.
According to the Daily Mail, the 23-year-old mother Muskura Bibi gave birth naturally on Wednesday morning at the government-run Chittaranjan Deva Sadan Hospital in Kolkata, eastern India. Because both she and her husband were manual laborers with a pittance for a salary, she had been unable to afford any scans during her pregnancy.
This also meant that they could not afford the proper medication and learned about the baby's condition only after she gave birth.
Dr. Sudip Saha, a child specialist at the hospital suggested that a lack of proper nutrition and improper blood circulation to the baby from the mother was responsible for the rare abnormality. He was quoted saying: "I had never seen such a baby before. It is the first case of Sirenomelia in the state and second in the country. The baby had a normal formation in the upper part of the body but below, its legs were fused together. The lower part was not developed completely."