PALO ALTO, CA—In a surprising announcement, scientists at Stanford University revealed yesterday that beginning this Thursday, human arms will become four to six inches shorter. The slight anatomical change, the most significant evolutionary development among homo sapiens in approximately 10,000 years, is expected to occur sometime between 4 and 4:30 a.m. EST.

Very soon, humans will notice a slight change in their arms, as evolutionary progress will cause them to shrink slightly. The change will be minor, but sudden, occurring over a 30-minute period on the morning of February 22.

“For millions of years, we as a species have slowly been moving away from the apes,” Stanford’s top evolutionary biologist Dr. Maura Creighton said. “This Thursday represents the next big step in this process. It’s very exciting.”

According to Creighton, humans, with their inactive lifestyles and ever-increasing reliance on technology and machines for physical chores, have been moving toward shorter arms since the Industrial Revolution.

“The average person of today is a far cry from the fit, active human of 100 years ago,” Creighton said. “By the year 2050, I expect our arms will be mere four-inch nubs, subtly protruding from our shoulder sockets.”

Evolutionary biologists claim they have seen this change coming, but it was only one of many hypothetical possibilities up until this week. Besides arm length, biologists have theorized that buttocks will become more seat-shaped, male facial hair will disappear altogether, and the human stomach will be replaced by a bird-like gizzard.

Thursday’s arm shortening will mark the first significant physical change in humans since 1948’s loss of opposable toes.

“I’ll never forget that day,” said Frank Costello, 89. “It was around 6, and I was enjoying a delicious steak dinner with my wife Helen, when all of a sudden, my fork fell out from between my toes. I tried to pick it up again, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t. I had lost all use of my feet, just like that.”

Perhaps more than anyone else, America’s clothing manufacturers expect to benefit greatly from the change in arm length.

“People will need totally new wardrobes,” Gap spokesperson Diane Schmidt said. “And thanks to our brand-new line of specially modified button-downs, plain pocket-T’s and 100% wool roll-neck sweaters, Americans will be able to evolve in relaxed, great-fitting style.”

Also excited by the evolution news is America’s freakishly deformed population.

“As a result of my mother’s exposure to the chemical Thalidamide during her pregnancy, I was born with badly shortened limbs, both arms and legs,” said Harris Lawson, 32, of Scottsdale, AZ. “Now perhaps I will no longer be shunned wherever I go.”

Experts warn that although slight, the change in arm length will require some getting used to.

“For the next few months, people will be reaching for things and coming up short,” Baylor University psychology professor Milton Jarmel-son said. “A can here, a light bulb there. At times, that will undoubtedly get pretty frustrating. But when someone gets angry, they should try to remember that they’re not alone.”