Unicorns – yes the horse looking creature with a big pointy horn on its head! Are they real, are they legend? Who knows! But one thing is for sure, these unearthly creatures are certainly a delight to read about for kids and adults alike!! So read on to learn 50 facts about Unicorns.
Fact 1: The first known image of a so-called Unicorn was found in a cave in 15,000 B.C.
- This drawing actually showed 2 horns, so people aren’t too sure if this discovery is accurate or truthful!
Fact 2: Ctesias is the first Greek historian to actually describe a Unicorn.
- When speaking about the Unicorn’s horn, he said it was white at the bottom, black in the middle and red at the tip. So, not quite how they are portrayed to us today!
Fact 3: It’s not uncommon for a Unicorn to have purple eyes!
- They can also have sky-blue eyes too.
Fact 4: There is an underwater creature that is really similar to a Unicorn. This animal is called the Narwhal.
- The Narwhal is a type of whale, that lives in the waters around Canada.
The narwhal, or narwhale, is a medium-sized toothed whale that possesses a large “tusk” from a protruding canine tooth. It lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia.
Fact 5: Unicorns cannot fly, contrary to popular belief.
- To get a flying Unicorn, you would need a Pegasus and a Unicorn to breed together.
Fact 6: The Unicorn is sometimes seen as the sign of ‘divine truth’.
- If you lie, the Unicorn is said to pierce your heart with its horn… sounds a bit gruesome!
Fact 7: Marco Polo saw rhinos on his travels, but thought they were Unicorns.
- He actually thought the creatures were quite ugly…
Fact 8: Genghis Khan decided to call off his attack on India because a Unicorn bowed down to him.
- He saw it as a sign from his father that he was not happy about the event.
Fact 9: Unicorns don’t actually need to eat as they absorb the sun’s energy through their horns.
- Although, when they do eat it’s grass and hay!
Fact 10: Contrary to how they are portrayed, Unicorns can come in an array of colours. They can be classic white, black or a mix of warm colours.
- Legend says you can see red Unicorns too!!
Fact 11: In the UK, Unicorns, including their horns, were used in many pharmaceutical practices. They did this up to the 1700’s.
- It is unclear what ailments they were trying to treat though!
Fact 12: Unicorns are both male and female.
- According to reports, both kinds of sexual organs are inside a Unicorn.
Fact 13: Did you know that the Old Testament from 1611 (the King James version) has at least 9 references to Unicorns in it!
- It’s largely thought that this might have been a mini translation error, and the creature they were trying to discuss was the ‘re’em’ (ox).
Fact 14: Apparently touching a pure-white Unicorn will bring you eternal happiness.
- In some cultures, it can also bring good luck!
Fact 15: In the 15th and 16th centuries, there were coins knowns as the ‘unicorn’ and the ‘half-unicorn’.
- These coins were used in Scotland.
Fact 16: It wasn’t uncommon to see the Unicorn on the coat of arms of royalty in the 1400’s. Scotland is a well-known example.
- The Unicorns tend to look a bit like a horse with, goats hooves, parts of a lion, with a horn!
Fact 17: It was Cosmas Idicopleustes, from Alexandria, who suggested that all the Unicorns strength was in its horn.
- He documented this in the 6th century.
Fact 18: Contrary to popular belief Unicorns are not found in Greek mythology.
- However, some authors from ancient Greece have written documents about Unicorns.
Fact 19: Purchasing a Unicorn’s horn is going to set you back a fair few dollars! It was reported that the price of a Unicorn’s horn was always x10 the horn’s weight in gold!!!!
- It was noted in 1560, that German merchants actually sold a Unicorn’s horn for 90,000 scudi.
Fact 20: In the middle ages, a Unicorn was seen as a symbol of grace.
- Today, we see Unicorns as symbols of fantasy worlds.
Fact 21: To hunt Unicorns you must obtain a license!! (Yes I thought the same too).
- You can get this from the Lake Superior State University, Michigan. Once you get your license you can hunt for life and hunt anywhere! To be clear this only applies to Unicorns!
Fact 22: According to Jewish mythology about Unicorns, a Unicorn has enough power to bring down a full-size elephant.
- A full-size Asian elephant can weigh up to 11,000 pounds!
Fact 23: When 2 groups of Unicorn families meet, they don’t fight each other for territory, instead they live happily amongst each other for months on end until 1 family moves on.
- Every day they go about their tasks amicably!
Fact 24: Powdered Unicorn horn was being sold in the UK until 1741.
- It wasn’t actually used to treat illness. Instead, the powder was often placed into display cabinets to show off to customers and friends.
Fact 25: There is a band called, ‘The Unicorns’, who play rock music.
- This band formed in Canada in 2000.
Fact 26: ‘Unicorn Dash’ is one of the biggest selling Unicorn-driven games you can download today.
- The aim of this game is to make sure the Unicorn gets home.
Fact 27: Lake Superior State University, Michigan, is the most popular place to hunt Unicorns.
- The university advises the following, “When hunting Unicorn, you are advised to take plenty of supplies and something to hunt with”. Wise words indeed!
Fact 28: ‘The Last Unicorn’ is a popular 1968, fantasy novel, written by Peter Beagle.
- To this day, the novel is still popular in the fantasy book scene.
Fact 29: Due to the Unicorn legends, the Narwhal has come under threat on countless occasions.
- Because people thought Unicorn horns treated ailments, they would often take the Narwhals tooth, believing it to be the same creature as the Unicorn.
Fact 30: Although kids’ playrooms are adorned with rainbows and unicorns to bring about a feeling of happiness, the actual saying ‘Rainbows and Unicorns’ means the opposite.
- The saying is actually used to describe a situation that has turned sour, rather than happiness.
Fact 31: The blending of Unicorns and rainbows only started in 2000.
- This occurred because of a lot of TV shows and toys like ‘My Little Pony’.
Fact 32: A black Unicorn is not the ‘evil’ opposite of the classic white Unicorn.
- A black Unicorn is associated with strength and the idea of being able to get over and move beyond one’s problems.
Fact 33: Unicorns are said to be drawn towards innocence and purity!
- Legend says, if a virgin sits naked below a tree, a Unicorn will reveal itself.
Fact 34: The classic legend of having a virgin sit under a tree and a Unicorn showing up, is apparently the easiest way to capture and kill a Unicorn.
- The virgin and Unicorn are both at peace with each other, so a hunter can strike easily.
Fact 35: A Unicorn’s horn is actually called its ‘Alicorn’.
- The ‘Alicorn’ is said to hold great medicinal and magical healing powers.
Fact 36: Famous people like to associate themselves with great mythological creatures. Bennett Martellus is no different, he calls himself the ‘Black Unicorn’.
- Martellus played for the Chicago Bears in his football days. He adopted the nickname because black Unicorns are really rare but talented, and he saw himself as being a super rare talent too.
Fact 37: Contrary to the solitary animals we see in pictures, Unicorns like to live in groups of 4-5.
- You tend to see little Unicorn couples and their kids!
Fact 38: European and Asian myths often discuss Unicorns.
- A famous tapestry, ‘The Hunt For The Unicorns’ is just one example. There are also many more tapestries and engravings!
Fact 39: Chinese mythology also has its own version of the Unicorn called, ‘quilin’.
- The creatures are said to have a pointy horn, like a Unicorn, but many reports say that it’s more like a hybrid animal!
Fact 40: Unicorn horn treatment was reserved for the richest people in the land.
- Nicholas Culpeper, an English botanist, once suggested that to make the horn-powder, used to heal ailments, you would need ivory, pearl, horn, as well as grains – all of which would’ve been super expensive to get hold of centuries ago!
Fact 41: Lewis Carroll’s ‘Through The Looking Glass’ included a Unicorn character.
- The Unicorn takes part in a fun little discussion between characters about believing in Unicorns.
Fact 42: Once you’ve captured your Unicorn be sure to stand back and arm yourself. Unicorns are said to become quite vicious when they feel trapped!
- It is nearly impossible to tame a Unicorn!
Fact 43: Another version of the Unicorn in Chinese mythology is the ‘Bo-horse’.
- The ‘Bo-horse’ is said to be a chimera horse, with an ox’s tail, white in colour, with a signature horn!
Fact 44: Unicorns tend to live deep in the forest.
- This is when they are likely to eat hay and grass, as there is little sunlight to get energy from.
Fact 45: Unicorn families are run by the oldest Unicorn.
- This Unicorn is usually hundreds of years old.
Fact 46: Although we associate the word ‘unicorn’ with fantasy, mystery, wisdom, purity and so on, the literal meaning of the word in Latin is ‘single horn’.
- The Latin word is ‘unicornis’. ‘Uni’ means single and ‘cornu’ means horn.
Fact 47: The Unicorn has long been associated with femininity.
- Why? Because there is this idea of the Unicorn bringing purity, energy and nurturing to the world, much like a mother nurtures her baby.
Fact 48: Labradors are said to upset Unicorns.
- Nobody really knows why, but Unicorns are cool with pheasants!
Fact 49: There was a throne in Denmark made completely of Unicorn horn.
- Given that Unicorns are incredibly hard to find, capture, and get upset when you do capture them, this is quite an accomplishment!
Fact 50: Queen Elizabeth I was given a Unicorn horn by Martin Frobisher, an explorer.
- The horn, according to Frobisher, was washed up on the shore in Northern Canada. (which just so happens to be the area where you might find Narwhals… just saying!).