Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Now For Something a Little Less Cute
The illustration above didn't come from a science-fiction novel. It's a rather faithful likeness of a woman who went by the name of Madame Dimanche. And the growth in the middle of her forehead? It's a horn. According to medical accounts from the 19th century, the horn first sprouted when Madame Dimanche was seventy-six and grew ten inches before it was finally removed by a Parisian doctor.
Horned humans aren't as rare as one might think, though these days the horns are usually quickly removed. Caused by a host of different conditions, they can pop up almost anywhere on the body. However, most horns are due to a skin disorder known as cornu cutaneum, and are composed of keratin (the same substance responsible for fingernails).
Those interested in the subject should pay a visit to thehumanmarvels.com, where you can read about Wang the Human Unicorn, as well as two recent cases. Warning: The site is not for the faint of heart.