'Miracle' Baby Born With 4 Legs, 4 Arms; Now Has Religious Following

Born with an extra pair of legs and arms, a baby in India has been hailed as a "miracle of nature." 

Delivered over the weekend in Hardoi, north of India, pictures of the baby from The Independent showed what appears to be an extra pair of arms and legs attached to its stomach. Weighing 6.5 lbs, the baby was born at the Shahabad Community Health Center in Uttar Pradesh. Its gender was not revealed. 

Fortunately, the mother, Kareena, and the child were healthy and doing well. The mother was reportedly admitted to the hospital on Saturday after going through labor pains and gave birth shortly after. 

After news of the baby’s extra limbs spread, people reportedly flocked to the area, calling the newborn a "miracle of nature." The baby quickly garnered a religious following, particularly from those who believed the infant could be a reincarnation of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. 

The goddess Lakshmi, who rules wealth, fortune, power, beauty, fertility, and prosperity, is traditionally depicted as a beautiful woman standing on a lotus flower with four arms. 

As for the baby, its condition is called polymelia, coming from the Greek word "poly-," which means many, and "-melia," which means limbs. Extremely uncommon, this genetic disorder results in shrunken and misshapen legs, hands, or feet, making them unusable for the baby. 

The condition sometimes arises from a parasitic twin when the embryos do not entirely separate. As the twin ends up underdeveloped, it results in a malformed fetus. The surviving child “consumes” the underdeveloped one, leaving only a few limbs behind. 

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, the condition is highly uncommon in humans. But it’s frequently reported in animals.

This isn’t the first time a baby with a similar condition got people excited. Previously, a child born with four arms and legs was thought to be the incarnation of God, resulting in the child getting idolized by locals. 

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