7 Things you Didn’t Know About Unicorns

Dragons and Beasts Live

7 Things you Didn’t Know About Unicorns

21 September 2021

Unicorns are mythical magical beasts that have appeared in countless legends, movies and story books over the years. In fact, the first known images of unicorns were found in a cave and are thought to be over 15,000 years old! These horse-like creatures have a single horn and are beautiful to look at. They’re often presented on TV with a multicoloured mane and a glittery body. Here are seven more unicorn facts you may not know.

Unicorns were believed to have medical powers

Believe it or not, pharmacies in London were selling ‘powdered unicorn horn’ until the mid-18th century. They claimed it cured aches, pains, acne and other ailments. It proved popular until someone discovered that the powder was actually made from the horn of an animal called a narwhal.

Unicorns can’t fly

Many people confuse unicorns with Pegasus, a mythical winged horse in Greek mythology that can fly. But Pegasus doesn’t have a horn and is therefore not a unicorn. Unicorns have no wings and are grounded animals, meaning they can’t fly.

Rhinos have been mistaken for unicorns

Well-known adventurer Marco Polo once thought he saw unicorns with his own eyes. He wrote, “They are very ugly brutes to look at. They are not at all such as we describe unicorns.” What he actually saw, however, turned out to be rhinos. No wonder he thought they weren’t pretty!

Baby unicorns have cute names

When it comes to magical plays such as Dragons and Mythical Beasts LIVE, unicorns are often adorable. You just want to pick them up and hug them. A baby unicorn is also called a ‘sparkle’ which makes it even cuter.

The horn is called an ‘alicorn’

The gleaming horn of the unicorn is actually called an ‘alicorn’. The horn is believed to have a whole host of medicinal and healing powers. For instance, it’s thought it can purify poisoned water. Alicorn is also the name for a horse with wings and one horn. These magical creatures are seen in My Little Pony and have both a unicorn horn and Pegasus wings.

The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland

It might come as a surprise, but unicorns are the national animal of Scotland. As unicorns are proud, untameable creatures that are fiercely independent and famously difficult to capture or conquer, Scots believe unicorns represent Scottish history perfectly. The unicorn was first introduced to the royal coat of arms of Scotland around the mid-1500s. Scotland’s King James III also issued a number of coins depicting unicorns from 1460-1488.

Unicorns are a symbol of peace

As well as being a symbol of freedom, magic, purity and innocence, the unicorn can be a symbol of peace. It’s thought that when the founder of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan, was about to invade India, he came across a unicorn. This creature bowed to Khan, who took it as a sign that he should turn back his forces.

If you want to see a unicorn live on stage, don’t miss Dragons and Mythical Beasts LIVE which is currently touring. Using fantastic puppetry to bring legendary creatures to life on the big stage, this is undoubtedly one of the best shows for kids in Cambridge and is travelling across the UK.

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