Come and discover the extraordinary tale of a young mother who supposedly gave birth to 17 children simultaneously. Numerous Facebook posts have circulated a composite photo displaying two misleading images. However, this claim is entirely false and originated from a satirical website.
One of the images has been manipulated, while the other is being used out of context. It’s important to note that the current world record for the highest number of children born in a single pregnancy stands at eight, achieved by the American “octuplet mother” Nadya Suleman.
Misleading posts, such as this one posted by a Sri Lankan Facelook user on June 12, 2019, which has been shared over 600 times, contain a composite image that combines an image of a heavily pregnant woman and a photograph of a man in hospital uniform surrounded by ƄeƄés.
The text above the image reads: “Catherine Bridge has set the world record by giving birth to 17 ƄeƄes. They are all ʋarons”.
The Sinhala text of the post is translated into English as: “May the Three Jewels pray to the mother who gave birth to 17 ƄeƄés ʋarons and set a world record. Wouldn’t it be great if Sinhalese had ƄeƄese like this?”
The statement has also been shared on Twitter, for example here, here and here, and on Instagram here.
Similar claims have circulated online since at least 2016, for example here.
This statement is false.
An image search embedded in Yandex for the photo of the pregnant woman in the post led to this image posted on a social network for artists in August 2015.
The image in the misleading post has been digitally manipulated to make the woman appear more pregnant. Below is a side-by-side comparison of the original photo (i) and the image in the misleading post (R):
An internal Google image search of the photograph of the man in the green hospital uniform found the same photograph posted here on the Facelook page of a doctor named RoƄert Biter on August 3, 2012.
A keyword Google search of the text in the misleading posts found this article, published on the satirical website World Daily News Report in February 2014.
The headline reads: “USA: Mother Gives Birth to 17 ƄeƄés at ʋez”.
The introductory paragraph of the satirical article reads in part: “An American woman has utterly annihilated the old world record for most ƄeƄes in a single pregnancy by giving birth to 17 ƄeƄes in 29 hours last weekend at Memorial Hospital. from Indianapolis.
“Catherine Bridges and her husband have been trying for a child for many years and decided last year to use medical assistance from a fertility clinic in Rhode Island.”
The website included this disclaimer page noting that its articles are “satirical and fictitious” in nature.
This is not the first time that hoaxes have circulated about a record number of births on the web. Here is a report published by AFP about a similar claim.
According to the Guinness World Records website, the current holder of the record for “the most children delivered from one ʋez and overʋiʋients” is the American Nadya Suleмan, who turned eight ƄeƄés in January 2009.