In this blog post we will answer the question that everyone is asking : Do Unicorns really exist ? Did they really exist ? Together we will look at the traces that could prove the passage of unicorns on earth, providing as many answers as possible !
Do unicorns really exist ? Have they disappeared ? Or did they appear ? So many questions, to which we have the answers !
1) What is a unicorn 🦄 ?
The Unicorn, is otherwise known as Unicorn, which means "A horn". These fantastical animals are mostly depicted as a white horse with a horn on its forehead. It is the figure of the unicorn that is most often depicted. This mysterious animal, slender with a large mane, has, according to the images and photos, large wings like a Pegasus.
Some variants exist where you can see other animals with a horn, such as cats, ponies, goats or other. Simply for fun and rainbow passion !
A) The difference between horses and unicorns
Unicorns can of course be differentiated from horses by their spiral horns in the middle of their foreheads. But the rest of their body is similar to a horse. However, as the unicorn is often represented in its kingdom, it is usually brightly coloured, representing a rainbow 🌈. It is by its white colour representing purity, its multicoloured colours and its magic horn that it marks its difference with its cousin the horse or its friend the Pony.
B) The fantastic magical powers of the unicorn
The unicorn has become so popular thanks to its many exploits. Able to defend its kingdom with its magical powers, it also has proven healing powers !
Indeed, unicorns are said to be able to heal thanks to their purity ! According to the legend, a unicorn could fight against the most powerful poisons with its magic horn !
2) A historical point on the unicorn
We will now briefly mention the different appearances of the unicorn in the culture of our ancestors. It is important to know that the unicorn has appeared several times in many different cultures at different times, some of them very far away !
The unicorn in Greece :
The Greek physician Ctesias mentioned the unicorn in a writing around 400 BC. It was during his travels in Iran that this physician heard stories about the unicorn, a white horse with a magical horn, whose purity was said to have the power to heal. These were stories that came to his pillow and were transcribed in his writings, not actual observations.
Julius Caesar also mentioned the Unicorn, describing it as an ox-shaped stag with a long horn. While Aristotle described it as a goat with a predominant horn between the eyes.
The stories paint a rather blurred picture of the unicorn. Its powers also vary according to the writings, between immortality, healing powers, ability to fly, or to prevent the spread of poisons.
This is the most common representation of the unicorn in Greek mythology, Pegasus the winged horse.
The Unicorn in China :
The unicorn is one of the 4 sacred creatures in Chinese culture, namely the turtle, the dragon and the phoenix. It is in particular at the birth of the philosopher Confucius that some evoke the appearance of the unicorn.
The unicorn in the Bible :
Modern translations of the Bible do not mention the unicorn. However, in the King James Version of the Bible, translated into English at the request of James I in 1661, the Unicorn is mentioned 9 times. However, some historians report that the writers were in fact referring to a rhinoceros, not a real unicorn.
The unicorn in the Middle Ages :
The unicorn is the most popular legendary animal of the Middle Ages. It often appeared in tales and stories, stirring the imagination of the time. One of the most famous representations of the unicorn is this painting of a young virgin girl and her unicorn, by Domenico Zampieri in 1604.
The Unicorn in Scotland :
The unicorn was designated as the national animal in Scotland in the late 1300s. Their heraldic coat of arms still features two unicorns, representing purity and strength. And the meaning of this coat of arms is well found ! The emblem of England was once the Lion. The unicorn was considered superior and dominant to the lion, so the Scots naturally chose this animal to show their superiority.
3) The appearance of the Unicorn in popular culture
The unicorn has remained widely present in the popular culture of many cultures throughout the years. Always fascinated by fairy tales and stories mentioning mythological or imaginary creatures, the myth of the magical unicorn has remained very present.
The symbolism of the unicorn has however evolved. We still recognise its magical powers today, but its image has evolved. The unicorn is commonly represented today by its kawaii and cute image. The white horse with a horn has been adapted for children, and has found a very endearing form.
A) The unicorn and the findings of science
Science seems to agree that the unicorn could simply have been the Indian rhinoceros, a massive animal with a horn. Similarly, wild oxen, narwhals and other creatures could have influenced the myths around the unicorn. For example, narwhal horns were often sold at a premium in the markets by criminals, who then sold them as unicorn horns. In the end, they were only the teeth of the unicorns of the sea.
In 2016, an intriguing fossil was discovered in Kazakhstan. The bones revealed a horn that strongly resembled the horn of a unicorn. However, the animal was not a white horse with a horn. It was in fact a Siberian unicorn, a rhinoceros of about 1.8m in height and 5m in length.
4) The Unicorn today, between symbolism and reality
The Unicorn has never been as popular as it is today. Widely associated with the world of children, this fantastic animal continues to survive through other representations.
A) The narwhal, a true unicorn of the sea
The Narwhal, which means "Tooth Whale", is the animal closest to the unicorn, along with the horse. Its resemblance comes from its unique horn, which is in fact one of its teeth. This circular horn can measure up to 3m in length and is only found in males. According to scientists, this ivory tusk is used to hunt for food.
B) Unicorn companies, these innovative start-ups
In economic language, the term Unicorn is associated with innovative companies that experience lightning growth. We are talking about companies valued at more than one billion dollars. It is a term that has been democratised in Silicon Valley, and then exported to the rest of the world.
These unicorns include more than 300 companies, including Dropbox, Xiaomi, Snapchat and Pinterest. This term is not used by chance, it is the fantastic character of these ascents that makes the connection with the fairy universe of the rainbow unicorn !
5) The Unicorn has a bright future ahead of it
The unicorn has travelled through time over the generations. Associated with different myths and values over the centuries, the legendary creature has always known how to adapt and has thus endured in popular culture. We owe him a lot today, because of the enchantment he brings to the daily life of millions of children. It alone has the power to push back the limits of the imagination !