It would seem that not all mythical creatures are figments of our imagination. According to a new research paper, a unicorn-like creature may have roamed the Earth thousands of years ago. This discovery might suggests that tales might have actually had a real starting point.
Although the strange creature is still shrouded in mystery, a team of scientists from the Tomsk State University was able to find out a couple of interesting facts about the unicorn.
First of all, as Professor Andrei Shpansky, the lead author of the study, explains, the strange creature that was unearthed from Western Siberia, was similar to the mythical creature in one aspect. Both the mythical creature and the unicorn-like animal had a huge horn on their heads, but the resemblance between the two animal ends there.
As depicted in stories and songs, unicorns were creatures of great power, which took the shape of a beautiful white horse. The distinctive sign of the unicorn was the horn which adorned its head. In ancient times, people used to believe that the horn of the unicorn held the secrets to eternal life and unlimited power.
The real unicorn was a creature named the Elasmothericum sibiricu, or the Siberian Unicorn. According to the original hypotheses, the animals used to roam the Earth approximately 350.000 years ago.
However, recent findings point towards another reality. A team of archeologists managed to excavate the remains of a Siberian unicorn from a dig site in Kazakhstan. Carbon dating has returned some very unusual results. This unicorn perished approximately 29.000 years ago, meaning that the species entire timeline has shifted.
Moreover, the Professor and his team of researcher said that the fossils were perfectly preserved.
What is the difference between a mythical unicorn and the actual Siberian Unicorn?
According to the team of archeologists who unearthed the remains and reconstructed the creature, the Siberian unicorn was closer to rhinos in resemblance than to horses. Furthermore, the Siberian Unicorn wasn’t so agile and graceful as the one depicted in fairy tales.
Shpansky declared that the real unicorn had a high body mass and was probably covered by a thick fur, meaning that the actual unicorn was fat and furry. Not the image of gracefulness, as one would expect.
The lead author said that there are still many questions to be answered in the case of the Siberian unicorn. Were the species migratory? What did it eat? What was their distribution? How did the species die? These are all valid questions, which received no answers so far.