Unicorn is often a symbol of natures' purity. Grazes only in moonlight and stuff. So a simple touch can neutralize poisons and removes evil influence. May also be used for making magical tools and instruments, chatting up fairies, impaling wyverns and Fomorians, upsetting a druid or a forest guardian, as a really expensive vaulting pole. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. What are the special powers of a unicorn's horn? Ask Question. Andrew Johnson 3, 6 6 silver badges 38 38 bronze badges. ViviRukisha ViviRukisha 51 7 7 bronze badges.
Ken Graham Ken Graham 2, 1 1 gold badge 9 9 silver badges 29 29 bronze badges. Well this is not a full list and some things might be from modern fiction, but Universal antidote and anti evil device. As it clears corruption and evil it can also work as a weapon against the corrupted.
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Early Mentions of the Magic of a Unicorn Horn
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Cambridge Animal Alphabet. Ancient Greece. Natalie Lawrence. Fitzwilliam Museum. How do I explain a unicorn discharging powerful electricity at a distance? While it is true that air does not conduct electricity as nicely as water, it is also true that there is no engineering problem that cannot be solved by judicious application of brute force. Lightning is a thing after all, so we know a discharge will happen in air if there is sufficient difference in electric potential. Copy the design of the eel. This is what the wiki says about it :.
In the electric eel, some 5, to 6, stacked electroplaques can make a shock up to volts Now notice what the wiki says about its typical dimensions :.
The electric eel has an elongated, cylindrical body, typically growing to about 2 m 6 ft 7 in in length, and 20 kg 44 lb If your unicorn weights as much as a draft horse It will have enough size and mass to have a lot more electroplaques. A back-of-the-napkin calculation says that, keeping the same volts-to-mass ratio, the unicorn will be able to produce 43, volts.
You can buff that up - nothing is keeping the unicorn from having even more electroplaques. Let's say the unicorn is able to produce 50, volts. That is about as much as a typical low end Tesla coil. Now check the pictures in the link.
It also has this to say about the coil:. The high electric field causes the air around the high voltage terminal to ionize and conduct electricity, allowing electricity to leak into the air in colorful corona discharges, brush discharges and streamer arcs. A pointy part in a body is much more likely to produce a discharge than a round part or a toroid, so the horn is perfect for shooting out lightning.
As for how the beast does not fry itself, it may have glass or some other very good electrical insulator material in its hooves. The horns purpose is to protect the beast's eyes. It can run as long as it can see, so it's most effective pre-horn predator learned to slash the eyes during the opening of every attack.
At first, the horn was short but sharp, making the predator pay for its attack with wounded claws. It's function was to discourage attacks, making all but the most desperate predators choose safer prey. Later, as it grew longer in progressive successful generations, it became a true defense. Any animal wanting to reach a unicorn's eyes must expose its underbelly to a potential heart shot from the razor sharp weapon. In this role, the horn's placement mid-skull took optimal advantage of the horse's side mounted eyes, allowing the creature phenomenal aim without obscuring forward vision.
In a front-eyed predator, the longer horn would have blocked some of its field of view; but in a side-eyed prey-animal, no such disadvantage came along with increasing length. Would it have been more effective if it grew out of the nose rather than the skull plate? But evolution doesn't require the best design, only the better design. A mid-skull mounted horn is better than no horn. That is enough. As seen here it was recently seen that narwhals are capable of using their tusk as a hunting implement. Drone footage has captured something no one's ever seen before - wild narwhals using their bizarre tusks to hunt Arctic cod by hitting and stunning them, making them easier to consume.
So if your okay with making your unicorns carnivorous or at least omnivorous you can have them hunt birds, or even small mammals with their horns. To protect it from drop bears. But seriously, if you are introducing a new species the unicorn , why not introduce another species that, during their joint evolution, necessitated the horn? Just like the ant-eaters long tongue is an answer to the tunnels in an ants nest, the unicorn's horn could be an answer to a property this other species has.
Maybe the horn evolved because unicorns hunted a woodpecker-like bird. As the bird evolved to dig ever deeper, the horn evolved to be ever longer. Don't assume unicorns wouldn't hunt. Come to think of it, a variation on the drop bear might even be feasible, just don't call them drop bears I guess. The point is that when you introduce a fictional species, you might as well invent its ecosystem too.
Bear in mind that the image of the unicorn you quote is based on artefacts which were thought at the time to be unicorn horns, but which we now know to be narwhal tusks. So a "practical" unicorn could have a much shorter horn see the Wikipedia article for some alternative illustrations and possibly positioned better. Medieval bestiaries had some very odd ideas about real animals, so if it turned out that unicorns were real you would expect that the bestiaries would have got some of it wrong.
Unicorn horns take years to grow, but once they are fully grown and the animal is mature, the unicorn diet changes to include meat. Having no hands, unicorns use their horns like a modern day shish kabob skewers. Unicorns that fail to grow a horn sufficiently long enough to cook meat will often times catch fire. So cooking meat on their horns is part of the natural evolutionary selective process. Only the most fit get to eat tasty kabobs and the rest turn into a pile of charred flesh. Perhaps the unicorn's horn is placed higher on the head to allow it to align with the vertebrae and thereby reinforce a blow.
It may be difficult to wield such a long weapon defensively, so maybe the unicorn is aggressive and attacks other unicorns or some other animal it perceives as a threat or as inferior to itself. Then having the long horn aligned with the spine would be beneficial in a charge.
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Additionally, if the horn is long it will also be heavy, and portions of horn farther out will apply more torque to the animal's neck. Having the horn on the nose may strain the unicorn's neck, and so placing it closer to the central support of the neck may make it easier to tote as well. A fragile horn might be better for defense against predators than a more robust one, if the cost of growing one is marginal.
Lizards which have a break-away tail and plants with detachable spikes have similar adaptations. The unicorn is an equine, so unless there are some very good reasons for a different survival strategy, they're going to be herd animals. In a group defense situation, their default strategy may be similar to the muskox : create a circle with the young on the inside, horns pointing out. This is already going to deter the majority of predators, as the horn is long enough that they wouldn't be able to get close enough to harm one unicorns without running serious risk of being impaled.
For those that are foolish or desperate enough to make a run at it, the majority of the time they'd be skewered. In this case, being able to give the horn a bit of a twist and have it break off may be the fastest and easiest way to put distance between the the dying predator and the unicorn it's impaled on.
What is a unicorn’s horn made of? | University of Cambridge
This is desirable for two big reasons:. This isn't as much of an issue for a species with a smaller horn and more robust frame, as they simply toss the predator off their pointy bits in the same movement with which they impaled the predator. An equine body type is pretty strong, but not well adapted to lifting with the neck, so the evolutionary cost of strengthening the head and neck could very well outweigh the cost of producing a long and thin horn.
A whitetail deer can grow up to inches of robust antler over days.
The unicorn horn craze likely started with—who else?—the Vikings.
We can approximate the shape of the antler by assuming that the thick and thin bits even out and it's basically a cylinder. The circumference of that cylinder we'll ballpark at about 4. Based on those values, we get Similarly, we can approximate the unicorn horn using a cone of the same base diameter, and we get Even if the horn were as robust as the antler of a whitetail deer, the rest of the herd could cover for a unicorn that lost it's horn for the 12 days it would take to completely regrow it's horn, or the 8 days it would take to get to a usable 2 foot horn.
A delicate horn that's intended to break away should require even less material, and would have a correspondingly reduced regrowth period, so days provides a generous upper bound.
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