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Science & Technology

Humans are growing a spike on their skulls

By T.K. Randall
June 15, 2019 · Comment icon 16 comments

Smartphone use can have unexpected consequences. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 simonwai / Flickr
Excessive smartphone use has resulted in the growth of a bony protrusion on the back of our heads.
This unexpected feature, which is known as an external occipital protuberance, is present in a growing number of people - especially young adults - and it is thought that smartphones are to blame.

"I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly, I have been discovering that my patients have this growth on the skull," said health scientist David Shahar.

The cause of this anomalous growth is thought to be, not cellphone radiation, but the way people constantly bend their necks at awkward angles to look at the screens of mobile devices.
This type of activity can put additional pressure on the area where the neck muscles attach to the skull, prompting the body to react by laying down new bone to help redistribute the weight.

The resulting bony spike, which measures up to 1.4 inches, is present in 41% of 18 to 30-year-olds.

If you place your fingers in just the right place, you may even be able to feel it for yourself.

Thankfully though, this unusual new feature is thought to be completely harmless.

Source: Live Science | Comments (16)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by David Thomson 5 years ago
I have had this bone protrusion since I was a kid and that was long before cell phones were invented. Besides, I don't even use cell phones, today, I'm deaf.
Comment icon #8 Posted by AllPossible 5 years ago
It's just the new antenna to help us communicate globally.
Comment icon #9 Posted by RabidMongoose 5 years ago
I have always had one of them long before the invention of the mobile phone. I guess I have Neanderthal DNA (which is where it comes from in most people) lol.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Seti42 5 years ago
'Spike' is a bit misleading, it's more like a ridge.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Unfortunately 5 years ago
Woah, people are on their phones enough that evolution has noticed?  No spike for me! Not sure if that's a good or bad thing. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Black Red Devil 5 years ago
Yeah, tell me about it!
Comment icon #13 Posted by DanL 5 years ago
It isn't about evolution. It is simply that if you use a muscle the bones that the muscle attaches to grow and are denser. People that read a lot of books and spend lots of time looking down will have a very similar growth. You can look at a skeleton and tell if they were left or right handed and in many cases identify certain trades that cause specific muscular and skelital adaptations.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Big Jim 5 years ago
Maybe certain people have this adaptive growth but until it is passed on we can't say humans are growing it.
Comment icon #15 Posted by RabidMongoose 5 years ago
Only females pass on tranion factors. I dont think any research has been to uncover if this causes a tranion factor.
Comment icon #16 Posted by godnodog 5 years ago
This is weird, because I love to grab her by her poney tale hair

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