31-year-old Debi Nubatonis had been exhibiting all the normal signs of a healthy eight-month pregnancy when she went in to labour at a hospital in Indonesia recently, but when instead of a baby the bewildered midwife discovered that the expectant mother had given birth to a live gecko the story suddenly became the focus of much controversy and intrigue.
Despite bearing all the hallmarks of a hoax, authorities insisted on launching an investigation to try and explain what had happened. One proposed theory was that the woman had suffered from pseudocyesis or a “phantom pregnancy” in which there hadn’t actually been anything in her womb. Another suggestion was that the lizard had jumped on to the birthing table beforehand and that the midwife had mistakenly believed it to have come from the patient.
“So the gecko coming out is probably some kind of hoax,” said Dr Messe Ataupa. “Childbirth of another species has never been reported in science.”