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Did Unicorns Really Exist?

Updated on June 19, 2019


Unicorns basic appearance is a horse, usually white in color, with a large horn protruding from it’s head. These horns are generally spiraled but are said to be magical. The horn of the unicorn was said to purify pensioned waters and heal the sick. Their blood was supposed to have magical properties as well.

Some versions of the Unicorn have it with a cat-like tail with a tuft of fur at the end, other versions simply have it as a horse tail. Some even had goat beards. Some descriptions of unicorns have them with cloven hooves while others are simple horse like hooves.

Despite these differences, the overall look is usually the same. These changes though, don’t prove that this creature is fictitious or a mythical as people don’t know exactly what dinosaurs looked like but we still know they exist. We are even still discovering new extinct species to this day that we have never before heard of.

Wild Woman with Unicorn
Wild Woman with Unicorn | Source

History Of Unicorns

Unicorns have been written about and seen in countless countries all over the world. The bible even has a mention of the unicorn only it’s under a different name, Re’em. It depicted unicorns and wild oxen when translated through out the history of the book. Unicorns have long sense been a symbol of purity and grace and have been the symbol on many house crests and shields. The unicorn was a symbol of power and royalty along with purity and grace.

In ancient Greece, the people believed Unicorns were real and lived in India. India was a land of mystery and fables to them. Ctesias was the Greek historian who wrote of these unicorns. Some believe these unicorns the Greece thought of were actually wild asses (a type of wild donkey). In their written history the Greece described the unicorns as being quick and having long horns. They said the colors of these creatures where white, red and black.

Ctesias got his information of unicorns in India while in Persia. The Persian people believed highly in unicorns as they had statues and artwork of them in the capital and in important buildings.

In the middle ages and Renascence era unicorns were a big part of their religious beliefs. It was strongly believed that the virgin Mary trapped and captured a wild unicorn when it came to her and fell asleep on her lap. A few different interpretations of the unicorn was that it represented the beguiled lovers or even that the unicorn is death itself and represents the death of Christ.

There is a Throne Chair of Denmark that is said to be made out of unicorn horns. Because people think unicorns are mythical, a lot of people think the throne is made up of narwhal tusks. The same material-unicorn horn- was used for making ceremonial cups as it was widely believed their horns could purify poisoned drink.

Marco Polo, an Italian merchant, writer and explorer, once saw a rhinoceros on his travels and believed it to be a unicorn. He described it as having elephant like feet, the head of a wild boar and the hair of a buffalo.

Scotland’s national animal is the Unicorn. To the people of Scotland, the unicorn is seen as a proud and hearty beast that would rather die then be captured. Celtic folk saw the unicorn as a symbol of joy, healing, life, purity and masculinity. The unicorn was chosen because they believe it’s natural enemy is the Lion, the animal the English took on as their symbol around a hundred years prior.

Of the Unicorn
Of the Unicorn | Source


As mentioned above, the people of the world believed unicorn horns had magical properties and would often use them in medicine and in crafting cups and thrones. It is believed people hunted unicorns by using virgin women as bait and trapping the unicorns and killing them for their horns, much like people do today with elephants tusks and rhino horns. The hunting of unicorns was captured in Gothic tapestries that are hung in the Cloisrers museum in New York. The images on the tapestries show a nobleman with his hunting dogs, they appear to use a fair maiden to lure the unicorn to it’s death. After the death they are shown bringing the now dead unicorn back to the castle. Oddly enough, the last panel shows the unicorn, now alive, chained to a pomegranate tree.

In my own believe, I think if these magnificent creatures truly lived once, they may have been hunted into extinction for their parts. It’s not uncommon for humans to hunt animals into extinction and if the horn was supposedly magical then I can see it happening. This may also explain why there have never been bones or fossils of unicorns found.

There are numerous records and writings of unicorns in our past before cameras and physical evidence could be kept. Marco Polo found and described a rhino and if we heard that description today we would think it was some kind of mythical creature. How can so many people draw and record the same creature if they themselves haven’t had contact with those other countries?


While there are a lot of blatant hoaxes of unicorns being photo shopped, there are some videos that look like they might be legitimate. Most sightings that are of real “Unicorns” aren't actually white horses with spiraled hooves but are goats with mutated horns that grow with just one horn in the middle of their head. Some are oxen that have mutated horn growths but so far no good quality photos or evidence of a white horse with a spiral horn has been seen. This doesn't mean they don’t exist though.

Unicorns Caught on Camera

Do you believe in unicorns?

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      You offer some interesting possibilities here that unicorns could actually have existed. This was a very article, Jade, and I enjoyed the read. I actually wrote a poem called “No More Unicorns” that has been quite popular. It seems people will always be intrigued by them, real or not.

    • profile image

      A Blue Green Galaxy 

      4 months ago

      Ah, the unicorn. I love unicorns and mermaids, and mythical creatures. Such fun things. Who knows, I can see them being hunted.


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