Wild Fact #650 – The Magic Horn – Unicorn

Unicorn Statue - Photo by Kglavin (Wikimedia)

I am sure all of you are stuffed with candy canes, chocolate and other Christmas snacks.  I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday and I wanted to thank you for taking a second away from the eggnog to check out Wild Facts today.  This isn’t a live post since I am actually enjoying some family time myself.  Since I will be gone for the week, it means we get the latest Wild Fact Theme Week.  This week will be different but I think it will be a lot of fun.  This week’s theme is Mythical Wild Facts.  Now I know I have said in the past that I would never write about animals that didn’t exist but things change.  You see, I received an e-mail from one of my young readers inquiring about the Unicorn.  This got me thinking that I should do a whole week dedicated to some of our mythical friends.  Who knows, maybe they did exist at one time!

Anyway, let’s start the week off with the most famous mythical creature, the Unicorn.   Now most of us picture the Unicorn as a horse with the obvious horn in the middle of its head.  In reality though the original Unicorn has a goat beard, a lions tail and cloven hooves.  I don’t know any horses that have a lions tail.  No matter what your image of the Unicorn is in your mind, you have to love what they represent.  The Unicorn is a noble and magnificent creature that just oozes purity and everything that is good in the world.

Some of the creatures you will read about this week come from Greek Mythology.  Surprisingly the Unicorn is not one of these creatures.  In fact, they stem from the natural history books of early Greek writers.  Yes, that is natural history as in they actually exist!  The earliest description of the Unicorn dates all the way back to the 5th Century, BC.  The Greeks believed that the Unicorn existed in a far away place known as India (not that far anymore due to airplanes and ships :)).  Incidentally, the people of India also described their accounts of a one-horned horse.  One of the names they used to describe this creature was “Rhinoceros”.   The accounts of Unicorns continue throughout history.  They are even mentioned throughout the Bible.  So do you think they actually existed?

Unicorn Fast Fact – The famous 13th Century traveler, Marco Polo, describe what he thought was a Unicorn during a trip through Java.  Unfortunately, his description turned out to be that of a Javan Rhinoceros.  Is it possible that the Unicorn really was more of a rhinoceros type animal that became exaggerated and misinterpreted over the years?  I will let you be the judge.

That does it for the first Mythical Wild Fact.  Make sure you tune in tomorrow as I am sure this week will be full of light-hearted fun.

Add Comment