An infant died after an extremely rare case of "mermaid syndrome," a condition where the legs are fused together.
For just the fifth time in recorded history, a baby with a rare condition called Sirenomelia, or mermaid syndrome, has managed to survive for a little while outside the womb. A 23-year-old woman in Kolkata in India was able to give birth to the baby in a government-run hospital, but the baby died just four hours later.
Mermaid syndrome is a condition where the baby is born with its legs fused together, and in this case the legs were so severely fused that doctors couldn’t even identify the baby’s gender. Scientists believe that lack of proper nutrition and poor blood circulation in the mother are factors in this condition.
It’s so rare for babies to survive after being born with this condition that there have only been a handful of documented cases. It’s only the second recorded case in India, with the first time involving a “mermaid baby” in 2016 that lived only 10 minutes.
“Sirenomelia, alternatively known as Mermaid Syndrome, is a rare congenital deformity in which the legs are fused together, giving them the appearance of a mermaid’s tail as the nickname suggests,” reads a Wikipedia excerpt. “This condition is found in approximately one out of every 100,000 live births (about as rare as conjoined twins) and is usually fatal within a day or two of birth because of complications associated with abnormal kidney and urinary bladder development and function.”