Do Unicorns Exist?

narwhalpodSadly, the existence of one has not been proven yet. However, people from the medieval times thought they had found proof of the mystical creature. Large horns measuring up to almost 9ft were sold at enormous prices for their perceived magical properties. Surely this must be evidence that unicorns are real, right?

Well, as it turns out, there is such an animal known as the “unicorn of the ocean”. This elusive whale called a Narwhal has fascinated marine biologists for its odd appearance. Its body looks exactly how you might expect a whale to look like, except that the Narwhal has a large horn protruding from its mouth! In actuality, this horn is a large tusk that primarily develops on the males of the species. The females also sometimes have the tusk, but they don’t grow nearly as long. Though scientists aren’t completely sure of the purpose of this appendage, they suspect it is involved in the courtship of female narwhals.

If you were looking to see one for yourself, I’m afraid you’d have quite a challenge finding one. Firstly, Narwhals live in the northernmost regions of the ocean around Russia, though they have been spotted as far as Greenland. Secondly, populations of Narwhals are very low (approximately 45,000-50,000 individuals). This is due to several factors including being hunted by natural predators and most importantly climate change. Narwhals are very sensitive to changes in their environment; differences in temperature and food supply seriously disrupt their ability to survive.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s help save the narwhal by being conscience of our contribution to climate change! Tell us in the comments what you can do to help these sea-unicorns stick around.

Works cited:

http://www.defenders.org/narwhal/basic-facts

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/narwhal/

http://www.narwhaltusks.com/history-of-the-narwhal.html

-Luyan Lin

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