Ever wondered what a unicorn’s horn is called? Are the beautiful beasts real, or are they just a figment of our imagination? What are baby unicorns called? If you have been sitting there pondering the answers to these, fear not, as here, we have plenty of fun facts about the one-horned creature.
Here are our favourite unicorn facts.
- In November 2012, a report circulated that the official news agency of the North Korean government had published a document that the existence of the last unicorn resting place ridden by King Tongmyong, founder of the ancient Goguryeo empire, had been “reconfirmed” by scientists. Wait though. Before you get your hopes up that this is actual proof that they exist -isn’t. Sorry! No, the report was down to a simple mistranslation.
- The first-ever depiction of something resembling a unicorn is frequently quoted as appearing in 15,000 BCE paintings found in France’s Lascaux Caves. However, it is more than likely that they were actually paintings of some sort of bovine type creature, but with their horns painted too close together.
- The Greek physician and historian Ctesias provided the first recorded written accounts of unicorns in Western literature while travelling through Iran, which was then known as Persia, in the 5th century BCE. However, he probably didn’t see the magical one-horned horse. He had heard mysterious tales from fellow travellers, and wrote about is as having a white body, red hair, a multi-colored horn, and dark blue or purple eyes.
- When people wrote about seeing unicorns, what they probably saw was a rhino. Maybe they are the slightly fatter and less elegant cousin of the unicorn?
- The unicorn horn was a roaring trade back in the middle ages. The Vikings and their Northern trader buddies sold narwhal horns, perpetuating the belief that they had magical healing powers. Some also claimed that swallowing a powdered horn or stirring a liquid with a unicorn horn and then ingesting the liquid acted as an antidote to poisoning. Probably not one to try at home, kids!
- Somebody did once kind of create a unicorn. Oberon Zell, a cryptozoologist, took it upon himself to alter and breed a species of one-horned goats. He became obsessed with unicorns after reading The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle’s 1968 classic fantasy novel.
- Apparently, Genghis Khan decided not to conquer India after encountering a unicorn which bowed to him; he saw it as a message from his dead father and turned his army around.
- If a Unicorn and a Pegasus mate, the babies may become flying Unicorns. What a beautiful pairing that would be!
- The unicorn is Scotland’s National Symbol. We aren’t joking! Scotland even celebrates National Unicorn Day. It’s celebrated April 9 and is considered a lucky Scots day. The link to unicorns has persisted in Scotland for centuries. From 1460-1488 onward, King James III issued coins featuring the unicorn. It is said that the unicorn was chosen as the national symbol of Scotland since the unicorn is the lion’s natural enemy – which is the national symbol of England.