Since the end of May a special investigative team was dispatched to Oenunto Village in Indonesia at the request of the Chief Medical Officer of nearby Kupang City. Their mission was to figure out what really happened after hearing about a woman who gave birth to her third child: a healthy, bouncing baby gecko.
At a press conference on 31 May, CMO Messe Ataupa admitted this was pretty weird but had a likely explanation.
“Basically there’s something not right here. We are looking into whether this was intentional or not. Clearly the womb must have been empty and this is what’s known as pseudocyesis. So the gecko coming out is probably some kind of hoax. Childbirth of another species has never been reported in science.”
Dr. Messe Ataupa refered to pseudocyesis or “phantom pregnancy” a phenomenon wherein women believe they are pregnant and even show the physical symptoms of pregnancy but have no fetus inside. This woman, who has been named as Debi Nubatonis in reports, visibly seemed to be in her eighth month according to local witnesses.
On 30 May, Debi went into labor and called for a midwife because she lived too far from the hospital. The midwife, one Josephine Lydia Hellen Wadu, told Indonesian news site Kompas that she arrived just as Debi was about to give birth.
However, along with some mucus and blood, Josephine said that a gecko had emerged from between her legs rather than the anticipated baby. Sensing something was terribly wrong with the situation, Josephine took Debi and the “newborn” gecko to Oenuntono Health Center to get checked out.
While we can probably safely assume that this was a phantom pregnancy, the question of where the gecko came from is still wide open. Japanese news site Byokan Sunday reported that Debi’s neighbors claimed she and members of her family practice “witchcraft.”
Of course it could have been a publicity stunt for Debi but it seems unlikely considering what her state of mind would have to be to produce the physical changes of pseudocyesis such as a distended belly. And then we have the testimony of the midwife who wouldn’t seem to have anything to gain from this wild story other than the end of her career.
We’ll just have to wait and see if Dr. Messe Ataupa’s team can get to the bottom of this, but it seems like a call to the Maury Povich who’s-my-daddy DNA center is in order among other tests.