... some peo­ple have a par­a­sitic twin?

Is it re­ally true that ...

Science Illustrated - - ASK US -

I have read about an In­dian man, who had an un­born twin in his stom­ach, undis­cov­ered un­til the man was in surgery to re­lieve se­vere stom­ach pain. Can hu­mans re­ally have twins em­bed­ded in their bod­ies?

This rare con­di­tion is called foe­tus in

foetu and it re­ally is a par­tially-formed twin, in­side a per­son's body. The con­di­tion oc­curs in one in 500,000 ba­bies. It's caused by an egg ab­sorb­ing an­other egg at a crit­i­cal point in the em­bry­onic stage. Af­ter­wards, the ab­sorbed twin ex­ists as a par­a­site, get­ting nu­tri­tion from its host’s blood. Of­ten, the par­a­site dies within three months.

After death, the em­bryo stops de­vel­op­ing, yet this un­born twin can weigh two ki­los! It may have a skele­ton, skin, or­gans, even small limbs, but never a brain. In over 90% of foe­tus in foetu cases, the twin is vis­i­ble as a be­nign growth, and sur­gi­cally re­moved.

R U D I M E N TA L IN­TER­NAL OR­GANS R U D I M E N TA L L E G S A par­a­sitic em­bryo of­ten has a skele­ton, skin, hair, and sim­ple limbs, but never a func­tion­ing brain.

An un­born twin is of­ten hid­ing be­hind the peri­toneum of its host, but it could also ex­ist in the brain or chest.

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