An elderly Columbian woman who went to the doctor for abdominal pain got a horrifyingly bizarre surprise: she had been carrying around a dead, hardened fetus in her body for the last 40 years.
The 82-year-old woman and her doctors made the startling discovery when they X-rayed her, thinking she had gastroenteritis, according to the Telegraph. But instead, she had a "lithopaedian," also known as a stone baby, in her abdomen.
Though it sounds like science fiction or an episode of the "X Files," lithopaedians form when a fetus implants outside the uterus and dies. The Telegraph says that if the fetus is too large to be reabsorbed, it gets mummified by layers of calcium that protect the mother from the decaying tissue. A doctor who talked to NTD Television called the process the body's "defense mechanism."