Huang Yuanfan, 84, of Ziyuan, China, is the latest person to report an unusual growth protruding from the head. His horn began growing two years ago and has reached a length of 3 inches, according to Metro.co.uk and other British news sites.
When it began as a small bump, Huang said he tried picking at it and even filing it, but the horn persevered and kept growing.
"Doctors say they don't know what caused it, but if they try to take it off it will just come back," Huang told the press. "I try to hide it beneath a hat, but if it gets much longer it will be sticking out the top."
Last year, Zhang Ruifang, a 101-year-old from China, made news when a second horn began emerging from her head. Her first horn had already grown 2 1/2 inches.
Zhang embraced her new look and told reporters that she was eager for the second horn to match the first in size. She refused offers to remove the horns.
China has produced a number of other elderly horny folks in recent years. In 2007, 93-year-old Ma Zhong Nan flaunted a 4-inch horn growing atop his head. He paid little attention to it until it became itchy, at which point he sought help.
That same year, 95-year-old Xiou Ling made headlines for a 6 1/2-inch horn that jutted out of her forehead and curled downward over her face. It had been growing for four years.
And in 2006, Zhang Yuncai of China's Xingyang county felt what he thought was a pimple on his head. Eventually that "pimple" got bigger and bigger until it developed into a 2-inch horn-shaped bump. Doctors removed the strange growth free of charge.
Of course, human horns extend beyond China's borders.
For example, in February 2007, the Yemen Observer reported on the case of Saleh Talib Saleh, a 102-year-old man whose horn started growing on the left side of his head at the age of 78.
"One day, as I was touching the surface of my head, I felt a very thick and hard layer of substance on my head," Saleh told the Observer. "At that time we didn't have the medical institutions like we have today, so I ignored it and did not focus too much on it because it didn't bother me at all. Every week, it seemed to grow bigger and harder."
He said it reached a length of 19 inches before breaking off in 2006. But just days later it started growing right back.
"I have had hundreds of visitors who come from around the country and feel surprised and in awe when they see the greatness of God and his creation," Saleh said.
These types of horns are typically cutaneous horns, which are composed of the same substance found in our fingernails, called keratin. While bizarre, they are usually harmless.
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