The "cabinets of curiosity" of the 16th and 17th centuries housed the extraordinary souvenirs that European missionaries and other travellers brought back from the New World and the East. Stuffed birds with brilliantly coloured plumage sat alongside seashells larger than the human body and mummies plucked from Africa's desert sands. But, as French surgeon Pierre Dionis discovered, sometimes the marvels in your own backyard are the strangest of all. When Dionis stumbled across a leathery fetus-like object in a priest's collection, he resolved to learn the truth about it. Could it really be that this misshapen object was the product of a 23-year-long pregnancy?