A widely reported news item about a Mississippi couple who discovered they were siblings is now believed to be untrue.
According to the Mississippi Herald, a couple struggling to conceive underwent the normal DNA testing process for In Vitro Fertilisation, only to be horrified to learn they were in fact twin siblings.
However, further research suggests the news outlet may not be a legitimate news source.
"We've certainly never heard of the Mississippi Herald, there's certainly no bricks and mortar building to my knowledge," the night editor of Mississippi Sun-Herald told Mirror Online.
"We suspect it's a fake news story."
The story was reported across a number of major news outlets around the world.
According to the report, a husband and wife from Jackson, Mississippi, whose names were not released, had met at university and bonded instantly over how much they had in common.
In particular, they supposedly connected over the fact they were both adopted. The story incorporated just enough juicy details to seem authentic.
"They were attracted to each other due to their similarities," an unnamed doctor allegedly told the Mississippi Herald.
According to the report, when they were first questioned about their background, the couple thought their doctor was making a poor-taste joke.
"They burst out laughing when I asked if they knew they were twins," the medico said.
"The husband said that a lot of people remarked on the fact that they shared the same birthdays, and looked similar to each other, but he said it was just a funny coincidence and the couple were definitely not related. The poor man had no idea."
Once reality started to sink in that the doctor was serious, the appalled wife still struggled to accept the news, the report in question said.
"The wife kept pleading with me to admit I was joking," the doctor was quoted as saying.
The story went on to say that initially, when the couple's test results were brought to his attention by a lab assistant, the doctor had believed the couple's DNA samples indicated they might be cousins.
But closer examination showed their DNA profiles were so close, they must be immediate family members.
Both the husband and wife had been adopted after their biological parents were killed in a car accident, according to the now-suspect story, but a clerical error meant neither of their foster families was informed that they had a twin.
Be has contacted the Mississippi Herald for clarification.