Unicorns in Kazhakistan

April 26, 2016

Or were they rhinos?

Close your eyes and picture a unicorn. What does it look like? We see a beautiful horse-like animal with a long magical horn attached to its head. Ask a
paleontologist (or someone who studies fossils) what a unicorn might look like and s/he probably wouldn’t describe it the same way. It wasn’t until recent fossil discoveries that the idea of a unicorn as being more than just a mythical creature was even suggested. But the idea of unicorn-like creatures living alongside humans wasn’t even imaginable, until now.

The entire paleontology world is abuzz with the very recent discovery of a Siberian unicorn (or Elasmotherium Sibiricum) fossil in Kazakhstan. This fossil suggests that the Siberian unicorn lived 29,000 years ago, the same time as humans! But unlike the mythical unicorn that we might imagine, the Siberian unicorn looked more like a gigantic rhinoceros with an enormous horn on its head and weighing around four tons — that’s 8,000 pounds and nearly three times the size of today’s average black rhino! Amazing, right?

Map of fossil discoveries so far!