Yemeni Man Grows Horns from Head

image102-year-old Saleh Talib Saleh says he had had dreams when he was younger of growing horns from his head.
At the age of 77, he started noticing a hard patch on his scalp. It wasn’t really bothering him and, since at the time there were no local medical facilities, he just ignored it.
Gradually, the hard patch grew into what looked like a horn. The growth reached 1.6 feet before the stress on it, due to everyday life, caused it to weaken and fall off.

Almost immediately, a second ‘horn’ began growing in the place of the first. Many people from around the Gulf countries have travelled to visit Saleh in order to view what he considers to be a ‘gift from Allah’.

So, is this story true?
Well, I haven’t been able to track down much coverage of it (these aren’t the easiest search terms to isolate). Saleh has said he had no local medical facilities when he first grew the horn, but there is no mention of his having been to see a doctor (or a doctor seeing him) in the following twenty-five years. The only photograph I’ve found is the one in the linked article.

(Thanks, Tah.)

Edit: The complete photograph (shown in the article) seems to have some sort of Arabic writing at the bottom. Can anyone translate?

Health/Medicine Photos Religion

Posted on Wed Feb 28, 2007


Any word as to WHY he'd always wanted to have horns on his head?
It seems like the average boy has different ambitions.

I'd say it's either a bone spur or some kind of cyst, but then, one man's abnormal grwoth is another man's blessing, I guess.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Wed Feb 28, 2007  at  05:03 PM
Gives new meaning to the term "horny old man"
Posted by MadCarlotta  in  Canada  on  Wed Feb 28, 2007  at  05:50 PM
Erratic bone growths like this do occur, so it could very well be real. Of course its not a "horn", it is bone, not horn.

The man is lucky its on the outside of his skull though, not on the inside.

In my language by the way, a "man with horns" is a man being cheated on by his wife....
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Thu Mar 01, 2007  at  04:51 AM
Here is an interview with him in the Yemen Observer:
Posted by Unfairly Balanced  in  Earth  on  Thu Mar 01, 2007  at  05:20 AM
This would appear to be a cutaneous horn. A rather rare condition, and not necessarily confined to the head. I've seen medical photographs of cutaneous horns from a shoulder and another on an upper arm.

I must admit, they're bizarre wherever they occur.
Posted by RadioActive Babe  in  Black Hills, South Dakota  on  Thu Mar 01, 2007  at  07:44 AM
Oh me so horny!
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Thu Mar 01, 2007  at  09:40 AM
LaMa, having horns means the same thing in English (that the man is a cuckold, i.e. his wife is cheating), although this expression was probably more common 2 or 3 centuries ago than it is now. It turns up over and over again in Shakespeare's plays (written in the late 1500s to early 1600s).
Posted by Big Gary  on  Thu Mar 01, 2007  at  12:30 PM
I've seen cutaneous horns before as well. According to the little medical book of rare diseases I keep next to my computer, it's called "cornu cutaneum" in medical terms, and it's not uncommon for another to grow in its place when it's removed.

Whether there really is a guy named Saleh Talib Saleh who is 102 and has it, I can't say, but the condition is real enough.
Posted by Goo  on  Thu Mar 01, 2007  at  04:16 PM
LaMa where are you from? We have the saying "he has the horns" in Turkey and Greece too. By the way the arabic on the picture means something like "private/exclusive to the club of Shbweh". I dont know what the relevance is but maybe its an arabic copyright on the image. Thats my guess.
Posted by Merve  on  Fri Mar 02, 2007  at  12:35 AM
So, subcutaneous.... Hmm, then I was wrong when I said it is probably bone, not horn. My own statement related to protrusions emanating from the bone. These exist too.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Fri Mar 02, 2007  at  04:30 AM
Background: Cutaneous horn is a clinical diagnosis referring to a conical projection above the surface of the skin that resembles a miniature horn. The base of the horn may be flat, nodular, or crateriform. The horn is composed of compacted keratin. ..... continued..

Pathophysiology: Cutaneous horns usually arise on sun-exposed skin but can occur even in sun-protected areas..... continued..

Mortality/Morbidity: The lesion at the base of the keratin mound is benign in the majority of cases..... continued..
Race: Because of the proportion of cutaneous horns that arise from actinic keratoses and squamous cell carcinomas, races with lighter complexions tend to be preferentially affected.

Sex: A sex predilection for cutaneous horn has not been shown consistently. In men, the rate of malignancies at the base of the lesion is increased when compared with age-matched women.
Age: The peak occurrence of cutaneous horn is in persons aged 60 years to mid 70s. Lesions with malignancy at the base occur more frequently in patients aged 70 years or older.
Posted by hulitoons  in  Abingdon, Maryland  on  Fri Mar 02, 2007  at  05:16 AM
Better one boner in the pants then two on your head.
(must be a proverb or something in a language and if not it should be)
Posted by Unfairly Balanced  in  Earth  on  Fri Mar 02, 2007  at  11:07 AM
Do cutaneous horns normally have a discolored area around the base? Looking at the picture here, and on the referenced website, I think I see a darker area around the base of the horn. It also looks like the skull is dented just above the horn. Maybe when he turned 77 he wasn't able to get a boner any more so the excess horniness manifested itself this way.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Mar 03, 2007  at  12:26 PM
First, the thing about not being able to get a boner...Oh brother.

And I can understand discoloration. Think about when you have a cut that is healing. Sometimes the skin around the cut or scab may be slightly discolored b/c of the injury. Plus, I would think that the bone is pushing through the skin, it's not like the skin just disappeared from the had to go somewhere, and so it wrinkled around the base of the horn. Sort of like a river diverging around a large rock. There isn't less skin, it's just rearranged.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sat Mar 03, 2007  at  01:59 PM
"Pappy Yokum," one of the character is the comic strip "Li'l Abner" used to grow horns on occasion. He became randy as a result and Mammy had to cut the horns.
Posted by Henry Barth  on  Sat Mar 03, 2007  at  11:47 PM
Moses also had horns growing from his head, in numerous works of medieval and renaissance art, the most famous being Michelangelo's celebrated sculpture of Moses with the Ten Commandments.
This is because a standard Latin version of the Bible of that era said that Moses had "horns" on his head when he came down from Mount Sinai.
Most scholars now would agree that this was a mistranslation of the original Hebrew-- modern translations usually render the same phrase with "his forehead shone," or something similar.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Mar 06, 2007  at  04:57 PM
The Arabic words below the photo in the main article just indicates that this photo is property of Shabwa's blog.

Shabwa : is an Arabic name.
Posted by Mic  on  Wed Mar 07, 2007  at  07:49 AM
Gross...whatever it is it
Posted by Cecilia  on  Thu Mar 08, 2007  at  03:00 PM
Get the pickle jar and charge admission.
Posted by Scot  on  Mon Mar 12, 2007  at  09:55 AM
haah, this reminds me of the game Ico
Posted by asdfgh  on  Mon Mar 12, 2007  at  10:15 PM
The Arabic words mean something like "special Mint'd j.e. Shabu". So the picture was taken by J.E. Shabu
Posted by flyergirl  on  Fri Mar 30, 2007  at  12:03 AM
to be honest this picture looks like a 'shop to me, not to mention the horn looks lighter than those seen w/ the disease usually. *shrug*
Posted by NemNem  on  Sun Apr 01, 2007  at  08:24 AM
The writing at the bottom 'khas li muntada Shabwa' means that that picture is owned by Shabwa's forum/blog. Shabwa is a male name that is common in the Arab Gulf area, where Yemen is.
Posted by Dalia  on  Sun Apr 01, 2007  at  03:29 PM
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