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Unicorn Woman Unusual But Not Unique

When medical experts tell you to have any unusual mole looked at by a professional, they should use this story as an example of what can happen if you don’t. An elderly woman in China ignored a black mole that appeared on her head eight years ago. Today that mole has become a horn-like growth on the top of her head, causing her to be nicknamed the Unicorn woman. While the condition is painful, it’s treatable and, unfortunately for the Unicorn lady’s agent, not unique.

Liang Xiuzhen is 87 years old and lives in a village in Ziyang City in southwest China. According to her son, his mother noticed the mole about eight years ago. She didn’t exactly ignore it.

My mother complained about this mole-like growth on her head that itched all the time. We found ways to cure her itch using traditional Chinese medicine, and then left it be.

Nice kid. That kept mom happy until two years ago when the mole suddenly sprouted into a horn the size of a finger.

The original smaller horn

The original smaller horn

Son told her to ignore it (must not be covered on his insurance) and mom did until it broke off. Problem solved … until it grew back faster, longer and harder.

Doctor examines horned woman with sophisticated medical equipment

Doctor examines horned woman with sophisticated medical equipment

A real doctor diagnosed the 5.1 inch horn as a cornu cutaneum, a keratinous skin tumor that can resemble a horn. While it can be removed surgically, the family says it’s concerned about their mother’s age.

Not to mention her marketing potential. Stories of humans with horns date back to mythology. The earliest documented case of a human horn appeared in the 1500s. Over 100 cases were reported before 1900, including an 11 inch long, 2.5 inch wide human horn in the London museum. The most famous one belonged to a farmer named Wang (also from China – something in the water?) who had his 14-inch horn photographed in 1930 and sent to Robert Ripley. Ripley called him the “Human Unicorn” and offered huge reward for an appearance by the horned man at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum in New York. Wang never showed up.

Wang, the Human Unicorn

Wang, the Human Unicorn

Always have unusual moles looked at. Let’s hope Liang Xiuzhen finds a good surgeon before her son finds the phone number of the museum.