People Can Grow Horns

People can, and do, grow horns. They are called “cutaneous horns.”

From the World Journal of Surgical Oncology:

Cutaneous horn (cornu cutaneum), is a projectile, conical, dense, hyperkeratotic nodule that resembles the horn of an animal. The horn is composed of compacted keratin.

The wonders of the human race are infinite. You can read more at the above link, or at Neurosurgery Online or at the Human Marvels. Apparently, horns occur more frequently among the elderly, especially women. Of people who grow horns, many work outdoors unprotected from the sun. The horns may develop out of resulting lesions.

From the Human Marvels:

The earliest reliable account can be found in the report of German surgeon Fabricius Hildanus. In the late 1500’s he encountered a man with horns protruding from his forehead. Several other cases have been well documented by noted naturalists and medical experts. In his book Anatomicae Institutiones Corporis Humani Dutch naturalist Bartholinus mentions a patient with a horn measuring 12 inches and in 1696 there was a well know case involving an old woman in France who had her amputated 12 inch horn presented to the King. There is also an account from around the same time regarding the extirpation of a horn nearly ten inches in length from the forehead of a woman of eighty-two. Finally, in 1886 the famous dermatologist Jean Baptiste Emile Vidal presented before the Academie de Medecine a twisted horn from the head of a woman. That horn was ten inches long.

And do you know where you can go to see some human horns here in the US of A? Philadelphia!

You can see actual human horns and more at the “disturbingly informative” Mütter Museum. (Their words, not mine.) The Mütter Museum was founded to educate future doctors about anatomy and human medical anomalies. This website says:

The Mütter Museum, located within the stately, late-Georgian halls of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (CPP), is sometimes disparaged as a “baby-in-a-bottle freak show,” but this label is simplistic.

Indeed. Back on topic, here are some incredible examples of individuals living with horns.

black & white horn

Yellow Horn

Ma Zhong Nan
Ma Zhong Nan

Man from Zheng Zhou
Man from Zheng Zhou

Zhao from Zhan Jiang
zhao of zhanjiang

Abdul Razak of Narasimharajapura
abdul razak

Saleh Talib Saleh of Yemen
saleh talib saleh of yemen

Wax cast of Madame Dimanche of France
madame dimanche

7 thoughts on “People Can Grow Horns

  1. Is that real? My partner Lisa thinks it’s photoshop. I’m too grossed out/impressed to have an opinion on whether it’s real or not. Just so you know I’m mostly grossed out because the people are so old and I’m a little agist, I’ll admit to that. lol. This is Shannon’s kalamazoo grad school friend Codie by the way. I like your blog.

  2. Apparently all of this is TRUE. I couldn’t believe it either, but at least one elderly woman in Bisbee AZ had this condition. some nurses were talking about these bizarre growths on her forehead that were “like 2 horns” on an 88 year old woman. The woman refused to have them removed. The family was disturbed by them. Too bad no photos that I’m aware of, she died around May 20th 2009. Personally I thought they were making it up, until I found this site.

  3. The growths are similar to that of fingernails/toenails. It usually happens in countries where sun exposure is unavoidable from the time they’re children to when they become elderly. The dead tissue then collects on various areas of where the skin has been most exposed to the sun. In other cultures, the need for cosmetic removal is considered unnecessary. Looks are not valued as they are in the US or other countries where superficial images are sought after. Long story short, most of what we consider, ‘primitive’, cultures have real problems and a collection dead skin that poses no health threat is usually not on the list of their concerns.

  4. Cuteanous horns are real, they can be 50% malignant as Mr Sting’s are I write about. The cancer is at the base of the horn. These horns are hard, yet not nice on your head.

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