In India, a baby was born with three hands, an extremely rare medical phenomenon.
The boy, who was delivered to a local hospital in Rajasthan, northern India, had two limbs in normal place plus a third sprouting from his back.
Doctors diagnosed them with polymelia, a medical condition only mentioned a few times in the medical literature.
The baby boy, pictured shortly after birth, appeared healthy but had a third arm sticking out of his back. The child was born in Rajasthan, North India
Footage circulated online showed the baby lying on its side and crying out when someone touched the extra limb.
The ‘third arm’ is shorter than the others and the hand on the end has only about three digit-like projections.
The young seems to have just been born, as evidenced by the fact that the umbilical cord still appears to be attached.
The child’s name, gender and method of delivery have not been disclosed.
Doctors also did not say how the child could be treated, but in previous cases the extra limbs have been amputated.
They are the first child of mother Prosuta Suman.
During development, at about four or five weeks, two pairs of buds appear on the surface of an embryo and develop into limbs.
However, sometimes these can be disrupted and form other buds which then develop into limbs.
This can happen later in the development process, doctors say, causing the extra limbs to be less developed than the others.
Babies can also be born with extra limbs in the case of conjoined twins where one embryo has withered almost completely.
Polymelia, or being born with extra limbs, is an extremely rare condition with only a few cases reported in the medical literature.
Past examples include a baby girl from Delhi who was born in 2016 with an extra leg growing out of her back.
Varsha Sena was born with two legs, but also had a third limb that grew sideways from her spine.
Doctors at Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital successfully amputated the unwanted third leg late last month.
In another case, a baby boy in Iraq was born with eight limbs after his conjoined twins were malformed.
Instead of growing a separate body, the other undeveloped baby’s limbs were absorbed into his due to polymelia.
The baby, then seven months old, was flown to India for a complex operation to remove the extra limbs – which was hailed as a world first.
Surgeons at Jaypee Hospital in Delhi performed a three-stage operation to remove his protruding extra arms and legs.