Doctor finds foot growing in brain of infant


74 Responses to “Doctor finds foot growing in brain of infant”

  1. Avram says:

    Was the foot inside a sneaker, like all those other mysterious feet that have been showing up?

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    This is called a teratoma: My dad (a doctor) sent me this image the other day. He says they aren’t incredibly common, but not so rare that you never see them. Usually they take form as a tooth or an eyeball.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “God doesn’t make mistakes.”

  5. DD4U says:

    Boing Boing joining supermarket checkout isle sensationalist press.

    Next: Elvis lives, and will be writing a guest blog.

    • Antinous says:

      Next: Elvis lives, and will be writing a guest blog.

      Thanks. I’ll pass that suggestion on to the appropriate people.

  6. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Unicorn Chaser: Super Cute Red Panda Attack!

  7. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Kakcoo, I’m sorry, but I had to remove your comment. It was doing Something Weird to the thread. Want to try that again?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well just imagine!! – Pop them in the freezer now – and if you ever have a industrial accident and need a new foot popped on – hey-presto – pre-grown!!

    Not all of us are born with a selection of spare parts – I think its a great idea – I need some new lungs about now …

  9. PrometheusG says:

    Anyone else think of Nurse Gollum right away?

  10. buddy66 says:

    My first wife had a ”tumor” removed from her womb, along with the womb, when she was 25 years old. She had suffered undefined ”female trouble” for a year. The docs expected a malignancy but were startled to find an encapsulated ”twin” of the sort described in the post. She handled that news better than she did the fact of the hysterectomy itself. I had looked on horrors before without much effect, but I declined an offer to look on the specimen.

    The ones who were wigged out were … her mother and father.

  11. Shelby Davis says:

    @33 gainclone: Read Theodore Sturgeon, “The Girl Had Guts.” Recently re-anthologized!

    Tak and Threefjeff–eventually science will progress to the point where we not only save the kid, but the foot as well, and grow it into a whole person. (Whoa, boy, pro-life controversies coming!)

  12. EH says:

    Brain toe-mor

  13. Daemon says:

    Methinks the link is not supposed to point to http://'/

  14. lectroid says:

    ok. I hate myself for even thinking this, but:

    “Honey? Got something on your mind?”

    “My brother…”

    I’m so, so sorry.

  15. Todd Sieling says:

    Rejoice! More evidence of the beautiful plan that The Intelligent Designer has made for us. Because of course an almighty being would design shit just for us. But yes, this is just more evidence of how god’s grandeur is all around, and his wonderful… ah fuck it life is weird.

  16. mujadaddy says:


  17. nicheplayer says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    coming episode on HOUSE

  19. Purly says:

    Just think of this the next time you want to do twins.

  20. Kytsune says:


  21. Mycroft says:

    Man, biology is nuts.

  22. The Unusual Suspect says:

    Link broken?

    On second thought, just as well.

  23. johnofjack says:

    Link’s borked. ‘via’ link shows the story to be at

  24. n says:

    Um the link’s broken kthxbye (the link in “via Arbroath does work however”)

  25. Freddie Freelance says:

    @Kytsune, that was the first thing to jump into my brain, too, followed by images of “Saturn Devouring His Son” by Goya, followed by “Green Giant Devouring Sprout” by Aubrey Hallis:

  26. absimiliard says:

    @Sekino in #24

    Nah, I’m pretty grossed out by the growing in a womb thing too.

    Reminds me of the movie Alien.

    -abs is not a fan of kids or anything related to them, except maybe practicing the making them part, and wishes nothing but the best for this kid while at the same time wishing he’d never run across this story

  27. RER says:


  28. Paul Coleman says:

    I find this profoundly sad.

  29. SamSam says:

    I think I just threw up a little. In my mouth.

  30. robgotabingbang says:

    Open head, insert foot

  31. Takuan says:

    you don’t suppose… the Ghost might be…The King?

  32. Mia MacHatton says:

    Teratoid cystoma! Where’s Black Jack when you need him?

  33. minamisan says:

    OK, my weird-o-meter is now officially broken.

  34. WeightedCompanionCube says:

    parts of an intestine in the folds of the infant’s tiny brain, in addition to another developing foot, hand and thigh

    I’ve heard about having your head up your ass, but your ass (and then some!) in your head?

  35. joanna says:

    There was a terrifying medical mystery story in the NYTimes magazine a few weeks ago, that hinged on a teratoma:

    It actually sent the woman into a coma!

  36. justanotherusername says:

    What, no virgin mary?

  37. Anonymous says:

    These siamese twinning cases happen probablly as often as identical twins themselves happen, it is merely that the development does not carry through as often as more subtle absorption of the twin.

    A friend of mine hade a bump near his temple removed, biopsy showed hair and teeth. So was it an aborbed twin, or merely some of his own stuff that got misplaced (hair and teeth are relatively close by)

  38. demidan says:

    Extreme foot n mouth,,,ack!

  39. Takuan says:

    yet another distinction: the only blog comment thread that channels The King. Unpredictably of course, like any real paranormal phenomena.

  40. pseudonym says:

    That kid will have a bright future writing gritty novels with a gritty anti-hero.

  41. Tenn says:

    EEEEEK Descolada.

    Poor kid.

    All of you Sci-Fiers: In Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide, there is a disease that affects humans when they land on a planet called Lusitania.

    People beplagued with it start growing feet out of their chest and toes from their arms and very possibly feet in their brains. Basically, the disease affected DNA itself, unzipping it and inserting its own protocols, then inspiring all the itty bitty cells to go haywire.


  42. Michael Una says:

    This was part of the plot in Stephen King’s book “The Dark Half” wherein a partially formed twin was removed from a child’s brain, only to return later as a psycho killer.

  43. absimiliard says:





    Sorry about the mess, someone get me a unicorn please.

    -abs desperately wishes his wife didn’t find stuff like this cool, it makes him nauseous to even think about a person growing inside of another person. *hurk*

  44. Antinous says:

    It’s a Queen. She’ll breed. You’ll die.

  45. sammich says:

    Tak, Antinous – “the Ghost might be…The King?”
    …has anyone been keeping a log of when the Ghost turns up?
    do its appearances correllate with mention of cake? or with invokation of icanhascheezburger .com ??

  46. ridl says:

    i would like to join the general “yuck”.

  47. Tom Hale says:

    I’m pretty sure that a foot turning up inside an infant’s head is one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. I believe the next sign has something to do with a head of state being victimized by a geoduck or was that the previous sign?

  48. hoffmanbike says:


  49. Anonymous says:

    A foot in the brain is worth two in the teeth.

  50. jeffjonez says:

    From the article:

    “Sam’s mom, Tiffnie, told TheDenverChannel on Wednesday that her son is doing well but that she didn’t want to appear on camera because she doesn’t want to exploit her child and make him appear like a freak in the eyes of the world.”

    The media has finally found a responsible parent!

    And while you’re all typing your clever onomonopeia, don’t actually consider that this is a child who’s in a life-or-death situation thru no fault of his own. Of course, asking for sensitivity on teh internets is equally pointless, but we all have our windmills to tilt.

  51. avraamov says:

    for some reason, this just makes me feel deep sorrow.

  52. Sekino says:

    it makes him nauseous to even think about a person growing inside of another person.

    You must mean anywhere else than in the womb? ;)

    I’m glad that the kid was okay, but I’m feeling a bit queasy right now. I’ll never think of the expression ‘brain child’ the same way…

  53. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of Phillip K. Dick’s “Dr. Bloodmoney”

  54. Drew from Zhrodague says:

    Hope someone’s got samples of the DNA of some of these removed parts. Understanding how this could happen helps our understanding of how to prevent it.

    Otherwise, I’m with y’all — Eeeeeeew!

  55. Takuan says:

    how good and pleasing medicine has advanced to the point that this infant’s life can be saved. Let us hope for a complete recovery.

  56. dainel says:

    1 in 500,000 births, and only 90 reported cases. That means there are 10,000 unreported cases out there. Any of you could have an extra foot, eyeball, nose, or whatever, in unexpected parts of your body. How’s that for a nightmare tonight?

  57. ridl says:

    i would like to join the general well-wishing for infant and family.

  58. nobody says:

    I’m a med student – please let me rant about the amazing elasticity of the brain.

    This kid has very good chances! An infant can have his cerebrum practically shredded and expect a full recovery. Entire lobes have been removed to no ill effect, so long as the cerebellum or sensory centers aren’t irreparably damaged; such is our neurological capacity to rewire!

    Honestly the child is in greater danger of infection and the like.

  59. Doomstalk says:

    Homunculus, anyone?

  60. Procrastes says:

    Here’s a link on Fetus in Fetu
    “…occurs in less than 1 in 500,000 births. To date there are nearly 90 reported and documented cases.”
    including the case of a man who was found to be host to a twin in his abdomen at the age of 36.

  61. nobody says:

    I’ll add that while this could be a brain tumor, the intestines and PAIRED feet points more toward conjoined twins.

    I’m just a student, but I have had embryology and am relatively sure there isn’t a third option…

    …know to science! Bwa-ha-ha-ha.

    The positive outlook also illustrates the boggling speed of neuronal growth at this age. This infant is doubling his brain matter every week. It had better be elastic!

  62. demidan says:

    The child is recovering well, and according to mother,,,”,,,it’s a miracle.” No, that would be years of training and experience on the part of the surgical team, unless she meant the extra bits.

  63. kgander says:

    What if this foot’s DNA matches one of the feet that have washed up on the coastline of British Columbia? That would be even creepier.

  64. ThreeFJeff says:

    Wow. It always amazes me that things work correctly as often as they do and that stuff like this is not more common. Also, I’m with Takuan on this–modern medicine is awesome. I hope all goes well with Mom and the Kid.

    In the meantime, I’m hungry. Who wants lunch?

  65. Strophe says:


    No kidding. This is a pretty sobering story, even if you can shut out the “omg this is really happening to actual people” factor.

  66. Gainclone says:

    Holy Crap.

    Holy Freaking Crap.

    I see this as being very sci-fi. So many avenues for excited plot shell here. A host/parasite scenario wherein the parasite duplicates the host, using the hosts body as an incubator. Or perhaps a “shedding of skin” scenario, where the person (actually alien) begins to grow another one of itself inside of itself, eventually pushing the old body away completely to make room for a new one. All inside the head of the old.

    Some very climax-of-Akira-esque images running around my brain right now.

  67. mankinator says:

    Little Johnny is growing so fast – he’s grown a foot since I saw him last!

  68. Rivyrn says:

    As a recently minted parent of a healthy baby, I can only imagine how hard it would be to have a sick one with unexplained growths in his head. My heart goes out to the family.

    I’m glad the baby is well, and hope he continues to be. I also hope that they have medical insurance to help them with this, because brain surgery is expensive.

    It would be really terrible if the family went through all of this, had a healthy baby, but was now crushed with debt because of the messed up American health system.

    Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head!

  69. Clay says:

    I have an unopened Yoplait Thick & Creamy Peaches and Cream sitting here on my desk.

    I think I’m going to need a unicorn before I can open it.

  70. wolfiesma says:

    I’m actually surprised this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often. I was under the impression that every cell contained the instructions to construct the whole body and even other species from which we’ve evolved. I better go reread Matt Ridley’s Genome and a probably a basic bio text while I’m at it. It’s been awhile.

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