Extended smartphone habits are apparently the cause.

Nearly half of today’s youth could be developing small “horn-like” growths at the back of their head due to extended use of smartphones and tablets, research has revealed.

Two Australian researchers made the bizarre discovery after they x-rayed 218 people between the age of 18 and 30.

What they found was that 41 percent had a small, horn-like, bony lump at the back of their skull (images can be found here).

The lumps measured between 10 and 30 millimetres and are believed to have been caused by poor posture.

“This is evidence that musculoskeletal degenerative processes can start and progress silently from an early age,” Dr Shahar said in a statement.

“These findings were surprising because typically they take years to develop and are more likely to be seen in the ageing population.”

The findings were published last year by Dr David Shahar and Associate Professor Mark Sayers at The University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia – but didn’t get much attention.

However a BBC article published last week about how tech is changing the human body used the study, sparked an interest in their work.

Dr Shahar suggested the poor posture was caused by the use of hand-held technologies, like smartphones.

“The bump is not the problem, the bump is a sign of sustained terrible posture, which can be corrected quite simply, “ fellow researcher Dr Sayers said.

According to the researchers, specially contoured pillows and exercises that involve lifting the upper chest could help reverse the poor posture problem.