by Lauren Bumbaca
The belief that unicorns are real and still roam the earth today is something that many modern, civilized people believe in. The definition of a unicorn an animal that dates all the way back to the dinosaur era whom closely resembles a horse and has a single straight horn projecting from its forehead. There are many people that currently believe that unicorns do exist today or have existed in the past. There are many informational websites and journals that explore the possibility of unicorns existing. Some websites that support the unicorn phenomena are www.unicornsrule.com that explain how it is possible for unicorns to still exist today; and www.sciencealert.com/fossilised-skull-reveals-when-the-last-siberian-unicorn-lived which describes and discusses how unicorns, though may be extinct today, were alive and went extinct only about 29,000 years ago. The unicorn belief has always been popular in the sense that it has been a staple in many fairytale/literature and has been classified as a mythical creature many of times in children books and movies. However, the belief that unicorns are a real living species has also been around for as long as we can remember and is still a prominent belief in people today. For example, unicorns have been acknowledged by great early civilizations such as Mesopotamia and Greece who stated that they occupied and cohabitated the same space as other non-mythical creatures.
This is very important because there have been certain bones and skeletons found that do support the fact that a certain species such as the Elasmotherium sibricum. However, the common unicorn that the common people seem to believe in are known to have “magical powers” and have the ability to become invisible, along with being white with a rainbow horn. According to the Unicorns Rule article there are many characteristics such as “unicorns have the faculty to render themselves, and other forest creatures, invisible to human eyes in the forest they protect.” There are many characteristics in this statement that make unicorns an extraordinary belief. First that statement makes unicorns being unfalsifiable, because if they cannot be seen then they could always be there but not being able to see them makes it unfalsifiable. This statement also “Retreats to the supernatural” because you just “have to believe” that the unicorns have “magical powers” and do to protection they are able to render themselves invisible.
As the before states there are many things about unicorns (described in a more literature sense) that classifies them as an extraordinary belief and deemed to just be another mythical creature. However, in the article by Science Today there are fossil discoveries that support the life of a prehistoric creature name the “Siberian Unicorn” or Elasmotherium sibricum. The article states that the Siberian Unicorn is a long extinct species that resembles more a rhino rather than a horse. Throughout the article they describe through their fossil records that the Siberian Unicorn was 6.6 feet tall and 14.7 feet long, weighing in at approximately 4 tons. The article also goes into discussing the new skull discovered in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan dated around 29,00 years ago. This insinuates that the Siberian Unicorn was indeed alive while humans walked the earth, unfortunately they contrast extremely in physical appearance compared to how they are popularly described today.
Some of the cognitive contributions that contribute to this belief is the fight between faith and fact. When discussing the chronological order of the Unicorn it is easy to interpret that there could have been sightings or known information that there were “Siberian Unicorns” roaming the earth 29,000 years ago. However, through time and literature along with cultural differences many people have misinterpreted the Unicorn changing the modern definition to a white, horse-like being with a rainbow horn that can perform magic. This puts the unicorn in two different categories. The species Elasmotherium sibricum could very well be a real species and is supported by scientific findings. However, somewhere between approximately 29,000 years ago to today “word of mouth” and literature continued to distort the image of a unicorn and made it into a mythical creature. However, the modern depiction of unicorn poses the fact that unicorn believers are a product of choosing faith over fact. This is the entity that if a person has faith in something then no matter how many facts that Unicorns are an extraordinary belief and that they do not exist, the person will still have faith and believe that Unicorns are real. Therefore, misinterpretation of language, literature, and cultural differences leads to faith in something where no true facts are able to support it.
There are many social and contextual contributions to the Unicorn belief system. The contextual context would fall under all the literature that unicorns are mentioned in. For example, in the Harry Potter series unicorns play a role in the fact that they are the purest forms of creature and if you drink their blood you hold magical powers as well. They are also shown through many religious literature and described as having certain “powers” as well. Literature works such as Harry Potter along with eyewitness, personal reports are the types of social influences that fuels the believers into thinking they are correct to think that unicorns exist. The social context works in tandem with the community that the believers come from, usually the believers come from those who read the literature that unicorns play a role in. Most of the time it is those who are science fiction readers or read older pieces of literature. The social context is that all the believers usually come together and follow and have faith in the set rules that unicorns are real, hold special powers, and have the ability to render themselves invisible; according to the “Unicorns Rule” website.
Overall it is important to note that Unicorns as shown through the modern, social context today are an extraordinary belief mainly in the sense that they’re realness is based on retreating to the supernatural along with being unfalsifiable. However, it is also imperative to see that at some point there were “unicorns” or a species that the tale of unicorns may have derived from that did walk the earth many years ago, according to very real fossil records. Therefore, when talking about unicorns you must be very explicit on which type of unicorn you are referring to. Also, know that if you come across a modern unicorn believer, who believes in the white unicorn with the rainbow horn, their faith will most likely never dwindle no matter how many facts you provide them with to convince unicorns are in fact not real, making them and extraordinary belief.