PROOF THAT UNICORNS ARE REAL!

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Welcome fellow unicorn lovers! 

I’m going to dive right in. We all know, deep down, that unicorns are real. In my heart, it’s not even up for debate. However, for those who need some persuading, here are three facts that convincingly demonstrate that unicorns are real!

 

Unicorns in the 1st Century

Around 77CE, in his work Natural History, Pliny the Elder described the unicorn, or as he called it, a “licorn or monoceros”, as the “most fell and furious beast,” with the body of a horse, the head of a stag, the tail of a boar, and the feet of an elephant! Its horn was black and “two cubits in length,” which is about three feet. Pliny finished by saying that this “wild beast cannot possibly be caught alive.” 

A modern individual might say this sounds more like a rhinoceros than a unicorn as we imagine them, but doesn't that just support our argument? Rhinoceri are real and so are unicorns!

<img src= "Miniature-Pliny-the-Elder-Andrea-da-Firenze.jpg" alt= "Pliny the Elder writing in his study the natural world outside"

Pliny the Elder in his Study from Encyclopedia Britannica

 

Siberian Unicorns

Real shaggy unicorns were living in Siberia only 29,000 years ago! According to the National Geographic, new fossil evidence suggests that these huge furry creatures were alive much longer than previously believed, meaning they may well have roamed alongside homo sapiens. 

Could some sturdy few have been able to avoid extinction? Develop sleeker coats? Travel south, and across the continents from Siberia? Then, be seen by said homo sapiens and remembered with wonder, their stories spread from generation to generation? Of course!

<img src="Elasmotherium sibiricum by Heinrich Harder.jpg" alt="Siberian Unicorn walking in a snowy landscape"

Siberian Unicorn "Elasmotherium sibiricum" from National Geographic Kids

 

Unequivocal Unicorns

Last, but not least, single-horned beasties exist quite independent of history, myth, and legend! Why, we have the unicorn of the sea, the majestic narwhal. In fact, for centuries, Narwhal horns were sold and traded as unicorn horns. (Harvey) We also have the unicorn’s more substantial cousin, the rhinoceros. These wonderful animals are unicorns.

Now, pedants might argue that the narwhal’s “horn” is, in fact, a tooth, or that the rhinoceros’ “horn” is actually made of keratin and is more accurately a sharp protuberance of modified, matted hair. I caution you against giving credence to such unhelpful over scrupulousness.

<img src="The Narwhal or Sea Unicorn F. Cuvier" alt="two narwhals in an arctic setting"

 The Narwhal or Sea Unicorn from Smithsonian Magazine

 

Denouement

So, do unicorns exist? After all of this evidence, you still need to ask? Of course, unicorns exist! For, literally millennia, unicorns have lived around the world and been seen and admired by diverse cultures. Unicorn myths and legends abound, but that doesn't change the truth!

For those of us entranced by unicorns, by their history, their images, their metaphors, and their stories, these magical creatures most certainly exist.

<img src="Unicorn Breaking Chains.jpg" alt="rearing unicorn breaks out of chains">

Break free of the shackles of cynicism and embrace the unicorn!

 

 

 

 

Sources:
Stannard, Jerry. “Pliny the Elder, Roman Scholar.” Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Pliny-the-Elder. Accessed 24 February 2020
Findly, James. “Pliny the Elder on the Unicorn.” History Mash, www.historymash.com/2018/10/10/pliny-the-elder-on-the-unicorn/. Accessed 20 February 2020
Harvey, Ian. “The Vikings sold narwhal tusks as unicorn horns.” The Vintage News https://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/03/21/the-vikings-sold-narwhal-tusks-as-unicorn-horns/. Accessed 24 February 2020
Images:
The Unicorn in Captivity, 1495-1505, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/467642.
Andrea da Firenze, Pliny writing in his study, with landscape and animals, 1457–58, British Library, London. Encyclopedia Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Pliny-the-Elder.
Heinrich Harder, Elasmotherium sibericum, 1920. National Geographic Kids. Accessed 20 February 2020 https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/discover/animals/prehistoric-animals/siberian-unicorn-fossil-discovery-humans/.
Cuvier F., The Narwhal or Sea Unicorn. Smithsonian Magazine. Accessed 24 February 2020 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-narwhal-got-its-tusk-180964331.

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