Saturday, February 21, 2015

People With Horns, Tails, and More

Cutaneous horns are quite disconcerting, but they are a fact among humans, though a fairly rare one that generally happens to the elderly population.

They are skin tumors that grow out a keratinous material, somewhat like what nails are made of. They often are just small ones, but upon occasion, they can grow eerily large and frightening.

There's some things not known about them, like why they grow, but they do tend to grow on the face and hands; two very sun-exposed areas.

What of tails? Yes, people are born with tails upon occasion!

Human tails have divided them into two general categories: "true tails," which extend from the coccyx (tailbone) where one might expect a so-called "vestigial tail," and "pseudotails" which are often found in other locations on the lower back, and seem to be obvious aberrations since they are often associated with anomalies.

There is an assumption in earlier scientific observation that these were vestiges of our time as primates millions of years ago, but these tails are not "true" in that they hold no bones or vertebra. 

Upon occasion, the person is capable of having a reflexive or spontaneous wiggling of the tail. 

There are other conditions that we associate with animals that we see happen in humans, such as the fusing of legs called Sirenomelia or "mermaid syndrome." It has nothing to do with animals, of course, but our animal friends inspire what we see. Sadly, this disorder has a limited survival rate.

There is a disorder, hypertrichosis, that is referred to as "Wolf Man Syndrome" in which the person has a hairy face and body. This little cutie seems to be handling it quite well. 

Ectrodactyly is a condition referred to as "lobster claw" hands. This is when there is a deformity dividing the palm.

Ichthyosis is a condition in which the skin is deformed with a type of dehydration that causes a lizard like skin. This man (below) was a sideshow worker with the condition and referred to as "Lizard Man. 

Genu recurvatam is a defect in joints that turns them backwards. This reminds us of an animal's legs, but there is nothing animal about it. This dear pretty girl simply had her leg joints rather turned around. 

There is a tragic birth defect called "Cyclops" that can occur with certain cancer treatment drugs. The babies do not survive past birth for any period of time.

All of these deformities are life-changing and many are life-shortening. It is amazing the intricate dance our DNA does when it is laying out the pathways of a living, breathing, functioning human being. Sometimes, there's a glitch, but the strongest of people adapt and that says much about taking what we're given and making the most of it. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I'm amazed by all of this, I truly find these kinds of things fascinating. I already knew a bit about most of these, however Cutaneous horns and Genu recurvatam are new to me. I'll be sure to check them out and learn more about them. Thank you for writing this informing post. And God bless all people with any of these or anything else similar, and everyone who doesn't as well. Amen.



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