What Is A Unicorn?
A Unicorn is a crytozoological creature that appears in some form or another in many different cultures. It may be described as being like a horse, a deer, an antelope, a donkey or even a goat. Nowadays most people think of it a horselike creature. In all its' forms however the Unicorn has one distinguishing feature from which it takes its name. The single horn in the center of its forehead.
Copyright (c) 1994 Funk & Wagnals Corporation.)
The Unicorn's horn was believed to be able to neutralise all poisons and cups purported to be made of it were treasured by royalty. Such items were in fact usually made of narwhal tusk (the narwhal is a sort of whale with a very long tooth that resembles a unicorn's horn. It is sometimes called the sea-unicorn for this reason) or sometimes Rhino horn. During the reign of Charles II a rhino horn cup was examined by the Royal Soceity and disproved said superstition... with relation to rhino horn anyway. The supposed efficacy of the Unicorn's horn was also the reason that many drinking-cups were decorated with unicorn designs.
"UNICORN: In European mythology, a fabulous beast with the hind parts of a deer, the tail of a lion, and the torso and head of a horse. It derived its name from its single horn which, when dipped in water, was thought to purify it from noxious substances. The unicorn loved innocence and purity, and hunters could catch it only by placing a virgin in its path, since the unicorn would always run to her, lie down at her feet and fall asleep. Medieval commentators on the Bible believed that the unicorn represents Jesus conceived of the Virgin Mary. " "Unicorn" The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends Copyright (C) Marshall Editions Ltd 1989.
One distinguishing feature of the Unicorn is the fact that even when it is depicted as basically being a horse with a horn it does differ from the horse in one other particular. The Unicorn has cloven hooves that resemble those of the deer or antelope.
Unicorns also show up in the Bible. The Unicorn is the symbol given by God to the tribe of Ephraim (one of the twelve tribes).
Unicorns are found in Chinese literature. Referenced many times in the Monkey King.
Unicorns were almost hunted into extinction.
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