Unicorns Existed...But They Weren't as Magical as You Think

Posted by Jason Sarna
Unicorn

Things are not always as magical as they appear.

According to new research published in the American Journal of Applied Sciences, the Elasmotherium sibiricum (a land mammal with a long horn on its forehead) died out approximately 29,000 years ago--meaning unicorn-like creatures lived alongside prehistoric man.

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Originally it was believed that these creatures died out as far back as 350,000 years ago, before humans roamed the Earth.

"Our research makes adjustments in the understanding of the environmental conditions in the geologic time in general," Andrey Shpanski, one of the researchers that discovered the skull, told Phys.org. "Understanding of the past allows us to make more accurate predictions about natural processes in the near future."

Photo Added by Dinoboy5387 Posted in Elasmotherium

When people think of unicorns, they often think of beautiful, single-horned horses with magical powers, but that is definitely not the case.

"Unicorns as we think of them today never existed; the stories probably rose out of travelers' tales and misinterpretations of horns like rhinoceros' horns or narwhal horns," Dorothy Ann Bray, associate professor at McGill University and expert in folklore and mythology, tells Broadly.

"A book of animals from the third century, called the Physiologus (compiled in Alexandria, Eygpt) gives a description of a unicorn, which medieval bestiaries borrowed from," Bray says.

The bestiaries expanded on the moral meaning of the unicorn in a Christian context, which is how the unicorn became a symbol of purity and a symbol of Christ. In medieval times, it was thought that only a virgin could tame a unicorn and "the unicorn horn was supposed to protect against poison; ground into a powder, it was supposed to cure a variety of illnesses."

Although the truth about unicorns has been distorted throughout generations, they appear to have existed. But they were just not as magical as you wished.

Do you still love unicorns? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Unicorns Existed...But They Weren't as Magical as You Think