Unicorn

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Maelstrom, a fictional unicorn character in Extinctioners
The unicorn is a legendary creature that looks basically like a horse, but is slenderer and has a single, usually 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. Unicorns in the media are often also given the ability to teleport limited distances.

Contents

Depictions

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 hoofs, which distinguish them from horses. Interestingly, these modifications make the horned ungulate more realistic, since only cloven-hoofed animals have horns. Some unicorns have been depicted otherwise, including giving them zebra-like stripes or other unusual fur patterns and colors. There are unicorn My Little Pony characters, with pastel or brightly-colored bodies and hair as well as symbols.

Kirin

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

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

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

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.

Twisted unicorns

  • Dungeons and Dragons used the term to refer to a breed of evil unicorns in one of their source manuals in the early 90s.
  • Final Fantasy XI made the Auroral Alicorn a mount for players; it lacked wings.

Descriptions

The most popular version of this creature is the traditional feral equine with a white body, a single spiral horn upon its head and a pair of long, feathery wings extending from both sides.

Furry (fandom)

Within the fandom, this creature can also be anthropomorphic, and come is a wide variety of colors, horn configurations and different wing types, like the fore mentioned dragon-like wings.

History

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

  1. Wiktionary

See also

External links

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