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Unicorns are something most of us are used to relegating to the realm of fiction, but it turns out they actually walked the Earth at one point.

Scientists in Kazakhstan have discovered a fossilized skull belonging to something called an Elasmotherium sibiricum–which is also known as a Siberian unicorn. Researchers have actually been aware of the animal’s existence for quite some time now, but the reason you’ve probably never heard of them before is because they were previously believed to have gone extinct 350,000 years ago.

Thanks to this newly-discovered skull, however, we’ve since learned that they roamed the planet until much more recently, about 29,000 years ago. Which means they would have existed at the same time as humans, and may even have crossed paths with us.

Before we go any further though, we should note that the Siberian unicorn likely doesn’t look the way you’re probably picturing it. It wasn’t a fairy-dust covered horse with a horn, but instead was a rhino. Except the animal’s horn was several feet long and it was located on the top of its head, rather than its nose. Also, Siberian unicorns were huge. They would’ve stood roughly six feet, six inches tall, 15 feet long and probably would’ve weighed around 8,000 pounds. Here’s an artist’s rendering:

Unicorn
Wikipedia

See what we mean?

In other words, this animal was likely the inspiration behind the mythical unicorn we’re more familiar with today. For more information about unicorns, check out the video below:


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