The so-called “Human Horns” are more than just the theme of a Futurama episode, they’re a recognized medical phenomenon that’s not as uncommon as one might think. After centuries of misunderstanding, fear and scorn, researchers may finally have an answer that explains this strange and unsettling skin condition.
It doesn’t happen very often, but people do grow horns. They’re called cutaneous horns and they are the result of a wide range of epidermal lesions. According to the World Journal of Surgical Oncology, cutaneous horns appear in men over 55 and women over 65. Rare as these cases may be, cutaneous horns have been around for quite some time, with the first documented case appearing in the 1500s.
The medical profession refers to these bizarre, even frightening growths as Cutaneous Horns (Cornu Cutaneum, in Latin) that may outwardly resemble the horns of goats, deer, cattle and other ungulates. The resemblance is only skin deep, however – with the emphasis on “skin”. Though hard and bony to the touch, human horns are actually keratotic, meaning they are made from the same material as hair and fingernails.
When human horns appear, it’s most commonly the head, neck and the backs of hands that are affected. This leads many medical professionals to postulate a connection between the growths and chronic exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. As most of those afflicted are of an advanced age – a survey conducted by the WJSO reported an average age of 57 – anecdotal evidence at least would seem to support the theory that long-term UV exposure combined with age-related skin degeneration may lay the ground for the growth of human horns.
Now, let’s have a look at the six “horniest”people on earth:
1. In 2006, an 88-year-old man from Zheng Zhou, China, caught the attention of the media after growing a small horn, on the right side of his head. The man said it began growing after he picked up a little bump on his head. Doctors diagnosed him with cortex hyperplasia and he soon received surgery, to have the horn removed.
2. In 2007, the Yangcheng Evening Post reported that a 95-year-old woman, from Zhanjiang city, China, had a curved horn, like the stalk of a pumpkin, coming out of her forehead. Actually, it wasn’t really a horn, but an overgrown mole shaped like a horn. The old woman, known as Granny Zhao, said it started out as a small mole, but it grew in time. She didn’t suffer any pains, on account of her “horn, it just slightly affected her vision.
Saleh Talib Saleh used to have repeated dreams about growing horns on his head, until one day, at 78 years of age, his recurring dream became a reality. The old Yemenite entered the attention of the media, in 2007, when he was 102 years old. That’s when he told the Yemen Observer the story of his condition. Saleh said he had no idea how why the horn began to grow, but believed it was a gift from Allah.
It had fallen off once, but grew back in a matter of months. Though it couldn’t have been very comfortable, Saleh refused to have his gift removed. According to doctors from a specialized hospital, the man’s horn was caused by multiplying layers of hardened skin, on his head.
3. This 69-year-old woman apparently lived with a 20-cm-long cutaneous horn coming out of her forehead. She apparently came into a doctor’s office, one day,in 2008, saying she had a bump on her head, two decades ago, which eventually dried and turned into that curled up horn. The cutaneous horn was surgically removed.
4. Back in 2007, a 93-year-old man, living in a small Chinese village, hoped to find a solution for the problem sticking out of his head. Five years before, Ma Zhong Nan was combing his hair, and carelessly injured his scalp. He paid no attention to the small wound, but soon, a hard substance started coming out of his head. In just half a year, the old man had a 10-cm-long horn on top of his head. After doctors told him they couldn’t fix him, he looked for help through the media.
5. Besides being one of the few people to live over 100 years, 101-year-old Zhang Ruifang has another trait that separates her from just about everyone else on the planet. This granny, from Linlou village, China, has a goat-like horn coming out of the left side of her forehead. It began as a small lump, that Zhang and her family ignored, but it turned into a regular horn that now measures 6 cm. Neither the horn nor the accompanying attention has fazed Zhang, who says that “At first it was a nuisance sleeping and so on, but now I get people visiting me all the time bringing me food and gifts and asking to take my picture.”
Zhang’s exposure, though the media, earned her the chance to have her cutaneous horn removed, but the old woman refused. Now, doctors have confirmed the black spot on the right side of her forehead is indeed another horn in the making.
6. In 2007, the Yangcheng Evening Post reported that a 95-year-old woman, from Zhanjiang city, China, had a curved horn, like the stalk of a pumpkin, coming out of her forehead. Actually, it wasn’t really a horn, but an overgrown mole shaped like a horn. The old woman, known as Granny Zhao, said it started out as a small mole, but it grew in time. She didn’t suffer any pains, on account of her “horn, it just slightly affected her vision.
(credits to: oddity central)