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Science proves unicorns existed... kind of

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

Unicorns were a real thing, but they may not have looked like you imagined

As a young girl, I didn't waste my time hoping for ponies or puppies. I reached for the stars, and I wanted nothing more than a trusty pet unicorn to help me get there. It didn't take long for my parents to dash my dreams, letting me know that, unfortunately, unicorns weren't real.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a headline today proclaiming just the opposite. Unicorns were a real thing, and there's proof. Look, Mom, science!

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According to a study published in the American Journal of Applied Sciences, fossils of the Elasmotherium sibiricum, also known as the unicorn, were recently found in the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan — more specifically, in the West Siberian Plain. And the best news? These fossils were found to be from a creature that walked the Earth as few as 29,000 years ago, so that means humans totally existed at the same time as unicorns!

I was getting so excited to see the pictures of these fossils. Would it look like my favorite horned-pony from The Last Unicorn?

Unicorns were a real thing, but they may not have looked like you imagined
Image: Giphy

Or would it be more like those colorful Lisa Frank unicorns with rainbows and sparkles?

Unicorns were a real thing, but they may not have looked like you imagined
Image: Giphy

Of course, nothing is really as good as it seems. Upon further research, I came to realize that the description most scientists have agreed upon for the Elasmotherium sibiricum actually looks more like the rhinos I've seen at the zoo than the unicorns of my childhood dreams.

Unicorns were a real thing, but they may not have looked like you imagined
Image: Wikipedia

I know what you're thinking. Childhood dreams, crushed. I'm right there with you.

Fortunately, science is always evolving and open for debate, and there are at least a few scientists who are holding onto their beliefs that the real unicorns looked more like the mythical creature we all love. Not only are scientists still trying to figure out whether the animal looked more like a rhino or a horse, but they're even unsure as to whether or not it had hair, or even a horn.

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"Of course it had a horn!" You're all screaming that with me, aren't you?

Apparently, the skull fossils that have been recovered do have dome shapes that could indicate a horn growth. They could just as easily indicate bumpy heads. Since the materials that would have made up said horns don't fossilize, we'll never know.

The findings also indicated that the ancient animals stood more than 6 feet tall and 15 feet long. So, if it did resemble a horse, it was bigger than any horse I've ever seen.

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That's great news, because you and your friends won't have to take turns for rides. Surely, a creature that large can carry you all at once.

Unicorns were a real thing, but they may not have looked like you imagined
Image: Giphy

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

Unicorns were a real thing, but they may not have looked like you imagined
Image: Stupid
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