The 16-month-old Saudi Arabian boy's parents had taken him to the doctor because they believed he had swallowed something that he shouldn't have - but they weren't sure what it was.
Dr. Ghofran Ageely took a series of x-rays. In the first, which showed the child's body from the side, Ghofran could make out a thin object in the boy's oesophagus - which she thought was a pin.
But when Ghofran looked at the next two X-Rays she was greeted by the smiling face of SpongeBob - who in characteristic devil-may-care style was sticking out his tongue for the camera!
"Then I opened the frontal view and was shocked," Ghofran wrote in an email to LiveScience.
"'SpongeBob,' I screamed!!! I was amazed by the visible details. You can see his freckles, shoes and fingers...AMAZING."
The SpongeBob staring back at Ghofran turned out to be a pendant that belonged to the toddler's sister. Doctors were able to remove the charm from the child's throat without any complications and the boy was soon able to return home.
Ghofran later shared the startling images on Radiopaedia.org, a Wikipedia-type forum where radiologists and medical students present and discuss medical cases.
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