Sunny

Written by Sunny

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Beautiful unicorn in a magical forest

Welcome to unicorn land, where fantasies come true and that special sparkle of magic is in the air! If you’re a fan of mythical creatures or simply looking for a delightful dose of interesting facts about one of the world’s most beloved mythical creatures, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we share with you 17 must-know facts about unicorns: from their majestic physical appearances to folklore traditions and legends surrounding them… It’s enough knowledge and curiosity to keep anyone enchanted by these fantastical subjects. Read on to find out why unicorns have been worshipped as symbols throughout history—and why they continue to live in our hearts today!

Table of Contents

Ancient Depictions

The earliest depictions of unicorns date back to the Bronze Age. The Indus Valley Civilization (modern Pakistan and Northwest India) left behind seals illustrating unicorns over 4,000 years ago.

Etymology

The term “unicorn” comes from the Latin “unicornis,” which translates to “single-horned.” It’s a combination of the words “unus” (one) and “cornu” (horn).

Biblical References

The unicorn is mentioned several times in the Bible, although it’s believed that the term was used to refer to a now-extinct species of wild ox.

Symbolism

Throughout history, the unicorn has been a symbol of purity, grace, and power. The majestic image of a single-horned horse has been used to represent high ideals and spiritual growth.

Image of a magical unicorn against hazy sunrise with sun rays
Image from Adobe Stock

The Unicorn in Heraldry

In heraldry, the field of designing and studying coats of arms, the unicorn is a common symbol, representing strength, purity, and chivalry. It’s even found in the Royal Coat of Arms for the United Kingdom!

Unicorns in Literature

Unicorns have a significant presence in literature, from ancient texts to modern-day fantasy novels. They often symbolize magic, mystery, and wonder.

A Point of Debate

There’s been historical debate about whether unicorns could be a misinterpretation of existing animals. Some scholars argue that accounts of unicorns were based on sightings of rhinoceroses or antelopes.

Scotland’s National Animal

Yes, you read that right! The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland, symbolizing purity, innocence, masculinity, and power.

Unicorns in Art

Unicorns have been a popular subject in art for centuries, often depicted beside bodies of water in serene, forested settings.

Majestic Unicorn posing in an enchanted forest
Image from Adobe Stock

Unicorn Tapestries

The Unicorn Tapestries, a series of seven intricate tapestries from the 15th century, are among the most beautiful and complex representations of unicorns in art.

The Healing Horn

In medieval lore, a unicorn’s horn, or “alicorn,” was said to have the power to heal sickness and purify water.

Unicorns in Pop Culture

Unicorns are ubiquitous in pop culture, gracing everything from children’s books and animated movies to logos and digital media.

Unicorns in Business

In business jargon, a “unicorn” is a privately held startup company valued at over $1 billion.

Connection to the Moon

In many cultures, the unicorn is associated with the moon, signifying mystery, femininity, and intuition.

The Opposite of Unicorns

Did you know there’s an opposite to the unicorn? The bicorn is a mythological creature depicted with two horns.

The Unicorn and the Virgin

In mythology and medieval allegories, the unicorn is often associated with virginity. In many tales, the creature can only be tamed by a pure maiden.

Unicorns in Fantasy Fiction

Unicorns feature heavily in fantasy fiction, including popular franchises like “Harry Potter“, “The Chronicles of Narnia”, and “The Last Unicorn”.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed learning about these 17 must-know facts about unicorns. From their majestic physical appearances to the folklore traditions and legends surrounding them, unicorns truly are an iconic creature that has left a lasting impression on our culture. But sadly, they remain just that: mythical creatures living in fantasy lands where only our imaginations can take us. Perhaps one day we will know the full truth behind unicorns, but until then we will have to keep ourselves content with what folklore and tradition have left us. Regardless of whether or not they actually exist, it is clear why we still honor and cherish these fascinating creatures today—to remind us of dreams, possibility, and courage. After all, isn’t that why we love unicorns so much?

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