For over 30 years, a man in China has been living with a horn growing out of his neck. 62-year-old Li Zhibing, from Shiyan in Hubei Province, said that the unusual growth first appeared on his neck in 1980. Since then, the horn has been growing at an alarming pace so Li’s friends actually help him saw it off twice a year.
Li’s greatest wish is to find out more about the mysterious horn and what caused it. Earlier, he used to visit a local doctor who treated it with herbs from the nearby mountains. But Li now suspects that this treatment actually made the horn grow faster. At its longest, the horn has grown up to 15 centimeters perpendicularly from the nape of his neck. And when it gets too long, his neck gets swollen and he runs a fever. So he needs to saw it off from time to time.
According to Li, the horn isn’t much of an inconvenience, except when he’s washing his hair or getting dressed. Of course, the shocking appearance is a major pain as well. It looks quite similar to a block of wood, which is a strange thing to be growing out of a human body. Some people suspect that Li’s anomaly might be a cutaneous horn. These horns are known to sometimes resemble wood or coral. They are generally made of concentrated keratin protein deposits, and are either malignant or benign.
The cause of cutaneous horns is largely unknown, but exposure to radiation is one of the suspected triggers. We’re not sure what Li’s condition is, but here’s some good news – cutaneous horns can be removed surgically. Hopefully, the poor man will receive some real medical attention, now that his story has hit mainstream media and photos of his unusual growth went viral on both Chinese and Western internet.
Source: Global Times