Do unicorns fly ? If you ask yourself this question, it is legitimate : unicorns are not winged creatures, so why should they be able to fly ? They are magical creatures, but they are subject to gravity like everyone else ! Yet unicorns are often shown flying, even without wings.
So it seems obvious that unicorns are able to fly. They are so mystical and marvellous, and are said to transcend boundaries. Taking to the air should therefore be something easy for them ! Perhaps you have ever seen a unicorn gliding ? So do unicorns fly ?
1) The Unicorn in Tradition
As a creature of the Middle Ages, the symbolism of the unicorn was closely linked to purity and even to the Virgin Mary. In the early days, unicorns were described as goats with a single horn on their forehead. As the centuries passed, illustrations began to show unicorns as majestic horses with one horn.
In the historical documents on unicorns, there is very little information on their ability to fly. Several ancient legends tell that stealing a unicorn horn gives you the power to fly ! However, there are few references to flying unicorns.
Perhaps unicorns were considered so fast that they did not need to fly ! A unicorn could transcend borders thanks to its lightning speed, overcoming all the obstacles they encountered. It is possible that the traditional unicorn resembled the rhinoceros : perhaps it was simply too heavy to have wings ! 😃
Unicorns were therefore admired above all for their purity and beauty, not for their ability to perform feats such as flying. All the other magical abilities of unicorns, such as healing and speed, reflect their elusive and magnificent nature. Flying added nothing to these ideas, so it was not an integral part of Unicorn Mythology.
2) The Unicorn With Wings: Pegacorn, Alicorn and Unicus
A Pegasus is in a separate category from unicorns, although it too is considered a mythical creature in its own right. It comes from the myths of ancient Greece, where it appeared as a beautiful horse with wings, but without horns ! Having flight as its only special ability, it lacks the connotations and abilities of the unicorn : magic, healing and innocence.
The link between these magnificent flying horses and the beauty of the unicorns is obviously very strong. Pegasus may not be unicorns, but they can breed with them !
A foal born from a unicorn and a pegasus is called an Alihorn, a Pegahorn or a Unicus. Or more simply : a Winged Unicorn ! It inherits the best characteristics of both parents :
- Shiny and powerful horn in the centre of the forehead.
- Magnificent wings that allow them to fly through the air.
Despite the fact that traditional unicorns cannot fly, these amazing hybrids have been known for more than 2,500 years 😲 ! They fascinate and nowadays we see many representations of them !
Have you ever seen a unicorn with wings ? Chances are you have ! When they are babies, their wings are small and stocky and are not very useful for flying. But as they grow and develop, they turn into powerful glittering appendages that can easily lift the weight of the fantastic creature !
3) Flying Unicorn : With or Without Wings ?
Today, things have changed a bit. It seems that the idea of flying no longer depends on the presence of real wings ! This has freed unicorns from the limitations that gravity imposed on them in the past. Many unicorns in books, videos, photos and paintings can now fly without wings.
Why ? That remains a mystery. Perhaps the magic of the unicorn's horn is so powerful that it allows them to do almost anything they want. It is possible that we are more interested in their flight because our own technology has developed : we can fly too ! But our planes don't need to flap their wings to glide ! 😏
Today's unicorns are able to fly simply because their magic is powerful. This began to change around the 1970s, perhaps in an attempt to refresh the image of the unicorn and make it more attractive and interesting.
4) Evolution of the Unicorn
In pop culture, many unicorns can fly without wings, they seem to have become a superfluous addition, more for aesthetics than anything else. For example, in the animated movie My Little Pony, there are equidae with and without wings, and yet both are able to fly ! Maybe the winged ones have taught their non-winged friends a secret or two so that they can play with them without being disadvantaged !
It is logical that unicorns, with their extraordinary powers, are able to fly. Traditional unicorns may not have had this ability, but unicorns are constantly adapting and evolving alongside humans. Their love of freedom naturally leads to the idea that they should be able to fly.
Perhaps the new power of unicorns also owes much to the internet. The internet is constantly pushing the limits and experimenting with new ideas : giving a unicorn the power to fly is easy ! With humanity's overflowing imagination, it is not surprising that the unicorn changes and grows with us.
Have you ever seen a horned pegasus, or a winged unicorn ? Can you tell the difference between the two ? Although they come from very different places and represent different things, these amazing mythical equids have come closer together over the years. Today, they share so many common characteristics that it is almost impossible to tell them apart. And so much the better ! The more amazing creatures there are, the happier we are 😃 !