So, you’re wondering about the most pressing question in all of life: Are unicorns real?
If you grew up in the era of Lisa Frank and My Little Pony Tales, then yes, unicorns are very real. There’s also some evidence that unicorn references have a history dating back to early Mesopotamian art works, along with ancient Indian and Chinese myths.
But there’s also some facts out there that might blow your mind.
If you can believe in mermaids, why can’t you believe in a pretty horse with a fancy horn?
You can. But don’t read on if you would be disappointed by the truth.
Do unicorns exist?
Apparently, unicorns did exist. Some 29,000 years ago. Yeah, they were real.
And way more terrifying than you would ever think.
They were more angry-looking, ugly rhinos than snuggly-looking, mythical creatures you want to pet all day. Not nearly as fanciful as the white ones with fluffy manes you’ve seen.
Here’s our official scientific breakdown for you:
Ugly Unicorns Exist
The fossilized head of a Siberian Unicorn, AKA the Elasmotherium sibiricum, AKA giant, ugly unicorn was recently found in Kazakhstan. Yeah, we don’t know where that is, either. We just know what’s been discovered is kind of a fugly-looking creature that we’d rather forget.
The stats are these:
- It had a shaggy coat, stood 1.8 meters tall
- It weighed more than 5 tons.
- Essentially, it looked like a frizzy rhinoceros, and only slightly cuter.
Sadly, science proves that perfect unicorns only exist in our minds.
As recently reported, we know unicorns were walking — not dancing or prancing — the earth with humans just a short time ago. And perhaps because they were so ugly, humans decided to declare its existence only as the pure white, mythical creature that lives on in fairy tales today.
Unicorn Myths and Other Pony Tales
Over the years, a few myths have been passed along. We hope our caveman ancestors will forgive us for story fabrications and embellishments.
Colors of the Rainbow
In early Greek literature, descriptions of a single-horned animal was documented by Ctesias, a historian and doctor. He described the creature as an Indian wild ass about the size of a horse, with a white body, blue eyes, and red head with a “a horn on the forehead, which is about a foot and a half in length.” While he had never experienced the creatures himself, he heard secondhand accounts and documented them as such. Some pony tale, huh?
Qilin, in Chinese mythology, only appeared during the birth or death of a sage or respected ruler. The hooved creature, like other unicorns, proudly touted a single horn on its forehead. But the rest of its body was compiled of an interesting mix of a yellow belly, multicolored back, deer body, and oxtail. Known for its gentle mannerisms, it also had its quirks: like never walking on leafy grass or eating living vegetation. The very first quilin appeared in the garden of Huangdi back in 2697 BC. According to our knowledge, it hasn’t been seen in recent years.
European Folk Tales
A tale Greek authors shared over 2,000 years ago casts the unicorn as a playful and smart creature. According to lore, a hunter once saw a stunning white unicorn in a wooded forest as it emerged from a river. The hunter called his friends and pursued the unicorn, but they could never keep up. The unicorn would wait until the hunters were within reach before disappearing again.
As the tale goes, the unicorn was greeted by a young maiden who coaxed the unicorn to relax until it laid its head upon her lap. The hunters swooped in and carried the unicorn away. As the maiden cried into the river, she swore she saw the shining unicorn horn in the distance as it disappeared again into the night.
Fact: If you’re ever hoping to catch a unicorn, it’ll probably only be in your dreams.
Rhinos are probably as close to a real unicorn as you’ll get these days. Unfortunately, due to poaching, the five species are threatened with extinction so the chances of taking selfies with one are pretty slim. The giant horn-bearing creatures aren’t as dainty as their make-believe counterparts, but they are adorable in their own 5,000-pound way. Check out the greater one-horned rhino, also known as Rhinoceros unicornis, and we think you’ll get what we’re saying.
You kinda feel bad for them because they’re so ugly, they’re cute.
We still support any unicorn-themed parties you may want to have, naturally. Just use the fake version for decor inspiration as to not scare the horned hats off your party guests.
Unless you’re the unicorn, of course. We know being a human isn’t always fun and rainbows (also if you can be a unicorn, always be a unicorn). And, despite our recent discoveries, we hope you keep your big, sparkly dreams of unicorns with voluminous rainbow manes.
Even if you want to celebrate the ugly-ish ones we know are still around today, go right ahead. We support your love of unicorns of every shape and size. Just be sure to wear a t-shirt to prove it.
Oh, and save the rhino-unicorn things. We really don’t want to see the chubby unicorns disappear.
What’s your favorite unicorn myth or legend? Share in the comments below!