Unicorn

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For information on the furry artist Unicorn, see Unicorn (artist).
Maelstrom, a fictional unicorn character in Extinctioners
The unicorn is a legendary creature that resembles a horse, with a single, often spiral, horn growing out of its forehead. This horn, often called the alicorn is said to have miraculous healing abilities, including the ability to neutralize poisons and other toxins.

Depictions[edit]

My Little Pony unicorn, Windy, from 1983.

Though the popular image of the unicorn is that of a white horse with a horn, the traditional unicorn has a billy-goat beard, a lion's tail, and cloven hooves, which distinguish them from horses. Some unicorns have been depicted otherwise, including giving them zebra-like stripes or other unusual fur patterns and colors. One of the most notable examples of Unicorns with fantastical colors and patterns would be My Little Pony’s depiction of Unicorns through media such as its toy lines.

Kirin[edit]

The qilin, a creature in Chinese mythology, is sometimes called "the Chinese unicorn", but it is not directly related to the classical Western unicorn, having the body of a deer, the head of a lion, green scales and a long forth-curved horn. Currently, the word "kirin", in Japan, written with the same kanji (Chinese ideograms), is used to designate the giraffe as well as the mythical creature. Strangely, the Japanese mythological creature is usually portrayed as more closely resembling the Western Unicorn than the Chinese qilin, even though it is based on the Chinese myth. The myth of unicorns was thought to have been because when people first traveled to africa they described rhinos as creatures as fast as a horse and they had a horn. over the years it simply settled as a horse with a horn.

Fiction[edit]

Modern fantasy fiction tends to perpetuate the medieval notion of a unicorn as a beast with magical qualities or powers.

Unicorns notably appear in:

Alicorn[edit]

Alicorn historically means the substance that a unicorn's horn is made of.[1] It was considered by alchemists to have medicinal properties. Alicorn is also used to define the horn atop the forehead of this creature and unicorns.


Winged unicorn[edit]

Alicorn has also been used as early as 1984 by Piers Anthony in his novel "Bearing an Hourglass" to mean winged unicorn (a concept that had already been existence for decades without being called alicorn), which he defined as the cross between a unicorn and a griffin. In modern times, it is an equine creature which is a cross between a unicorn and a pegasus. This has alternatively been called pegacorn or unisus.


History[edit]

Actually, there are pictures of the Chinese/Japanese "Kilin/Kirin" where wings are added to the horned creature. The British air force used a horned Pegasus as their logo in World War II. 1983's "Whisper the Winged Unicorn" and 1985 She-Ra's "Swift Wind" predated all the pop culture internet artists.

This did not settle with traditional mythologists, who argued that the unicorn was a wingless creature and that only pegasus had wings. However since the winged unicorn had become such a favorite in pop culture, it became a creature of its own right.

References[edit]

  1. Wiktionary

See also[edit]

External links[edit]