What is a unicorn? Where do unicorns come from and what exactly do unicorns eat? The magnificent one horn animal that is the unicorn may be mythical but that doesn’t mean the majestic beast is without history. Often depicted in folklore, the legendary creature has been a part of our history and culture for a long time.
What Is a Unicorn?
A unicorn is a stunning beast with a single spiralling horn but we all know that. Much like the statue of a horse except so much more magical, a unicorn has been a permanent fixture in history, folklore, and many a parent’s bedtime story.
Unicorns are earthbound and cannot fly. However a Pegasus can fly and if unicorns and Pegasus mate, then the resulting offspring will be able to fly.
With the horn thought to behold magical powers, it has long been sought after by fans and foes alike. But be warned – the horn only retains its magic whilst attached to its rightful owner. Meaning if you remove the spiralled horn from the unicorn, you also lose all the power it contains. So if you do find a real-life unicorn remember, never to remove the horn.
Now often used a fantasy symbol, pop culture has given the unicorn a newer lease of life for recent generations. A unicorn can be often seen adorning many items and the mythical beauty is popular with children and grown-ups alike.
You can find many stories about the famed beast in all different folklore across the world. Depending on the stories you are told, the stunning creature and its horn have different healing powers. In European folklore, the horn is said to be able to remove poisonous properties from water and heal the sick!
Some other myths about the unicorn are;
Divining Truth: It is thought that the unicorn holds the power to divine truth and will pierce the heart of a liar with its horn.
Supreme Strength: Jewish legends say that the unicorn can easily kill an elephant! Not only is the unicorn majestic and beautiful but it also has immense power and strength.
Purity: Some believe that the unicorn is attracted to purity and innocence. So the legend goes that, only a virgin who sits naked under a tree will hold the power to capture a unicorn. Lured in by her beauty the unicorn will venture closer to the virgin and lay down beside her placing its head on her lap. This allows the hunter to kill or capture the unicorn.
Untamable: A unicorn can never be tamed. Even when captured, the creature is 100% untameable.
The earlier description of a unicorn in Greek literature was by the historian Ctesias (c. 400 BCE). Ctesias related that the Indian wild ass was the size of a horse. It had a white body with a purple head and blue eyes. On its forehead was a cubit-long horn. The tip was coloured red, with a white base and it was black in the middle.
Ancient myths in India and China also referenced the unicorn as does The Bible. Unicorns are not mentioned in Greek mythology. Other legends tell of the unicorn’s battle with an elephant. Upon winning the battle, the unicorn, who used its horn to spear the elephant, purified poisoned waters so that other animals could drink. Chances are, the animal they spoke of was a rhino but that doesn’t stop references popping up in many different cultures around the world solidifying the world’s fascination with all things magical and mythical.
What Does a Unicorn Look Like?
A modern-day unicorn has been transformed via pop culture and can be found in varying appearances depending on your preference. Traditionally, a unicorn is depicted as a white majestic horse-like creature with the spiral horn. Unicorns have sky blue or purple eyes too to add to the magical vibes they exude.
That being said, unicorns come in all shapes and colours and not just in white despite this being the most often depicted colour for the curious creature. It is also commonly thought that all unicorns are male. This is at odds with the association with grace, virtue, and to all things pure as most people associate these qualities with females.
Thanks to various artists taking on the appearance of unicorns, you can be sure to find the perfect design for you. You can even design your own but don’t forget the tail and the all-important rainbow!
Did you know unicorns poop rainbows? The magic on unicorns means they ingest the right particles as a solid matter and they come back out the same way. so now you know, unicorns really do poop rainbows – maybe you can look for the unicorn next time you see a rainbow in the sky?
Have you ever seen a baby unicorn? A rare sight, baby unicorns are often called foals as they have a lot in common. You can spot a baby unicorn by its small size and short, stubby, glittering horn. That and the herd of other unicorns surrounding it. Unicorns are fiercely protective of their young and this means they are never left alone.
A girl unicorn is often called a unifilly and a boy unicorn can be called a unicolt. Although the more common term is foal as this is genderless and used when the gender of the unicorn is unknown. They can also be called sparkles too depending on which folklore you read.
With hair like spun silk and a horn that sparkles like diamonds, baby unicorns are extra special and so much more mesmerising. If you manage to see one in the wild then you are truly lucky.
However you like to depict the unicorn, the fact remains the same. The magical, mythical beast has been keeping humans enthralled in one way or another for centuries. And that trend doesn’t look like it is abating anytime soon.