A recent Australian medical paper sent a shiver down my spine by revealing that many young people are growing new bone spurs at the base of their skulls.
These new bone growths act as a counterweight to the skull being in a ‘face down’ position for extended periods of time. The average human head weighs around 11lbs — increasing to around 20lbs of pressure when tilted forward.
Now, why would we position our skeletons in unnatural positions for extended periods of time, so much so that our bodies change to accommodate the new positions?
You’re probably holding the answer to that question in your hand as you read this.
It’s our collective, global obsession with online and mobile phones and the amount of time we spend peering down at the screen.
Global media’s treatment of the story was predictable. ‘Teens who peer at screens grow horns’ and ‘Horn-like growths in mobile phone addicts’— stories that literally added to the issue, as they would no doubt also be read via mobile phone...
The research, by no means definitive, did give an indication of something that has been happening ever since we stood upright. We evolve to survive, and we adapt to our surroundings.
Delving into some deep web research papers, it appears we are indeed slowly changing. Various reports state that our skeletons are shrinking, because we no longer run and chase our food. Our elbows are thinner, as we no longer really need them except as props for our phones, so they’re effectively turning into the ultimate bipod system for propping up our devices.
Our thumbs, constantly used for typing, are growing to such an extent that in years to come they may well be longer than our fingers and our fingertips are now more sensitive than ever before, thanks to tactile screen browsing.
What necromancy is this?
Has a shiver travelled down your curved spine yet? Get this — our feet are shrinking too, as we don’t use them as much, and some of our toes could well disappear entirely as we no longer need them for either gripping or balancing.
Oh, and your pearly whites are now so soft that teething babies struggle to break the gum skin these days, because we rely on soft, processed food instead of tearing meat with our teeth.
What to do? We are evolving, but for the right reasons? Previously, we evolved and adapted to survive, but Homosapiens have now seen off any real threats save for the odd tiger attack or elephant stampede.
We have pretty much secured our compound and now, it would seem, that with nothing to kill us, no threats to our existence, we are happily killing ourselves, one swipe at a time. I wonder what shape we will be in the year 3000? Will we arrest this slide back to walking on all fours or will we continue and adapt our homes and cars and offices to accommodate us?
Perhaps brain implants to take us instantly online will arrive soon, so that our skeletons can take a break from evolving, and we can then start instantly blinking ourselves into oblivion.