While most people think of unicorns as ethereal horse-like creatures, new evidence that unicorns once found in Kazakhstan looked more like 9,000 lb woolly rhinos and may have lived alongside humans, according to a study in the American Journal of Applied Science.
Known as the Siberian Unicorn ( Elasmotherium sibiricum), the animals were said to be 6’ tall and about 15’ long, and while it was formerly thought to have gone extinct 350,000 years ago, the discovery of a 29,000 year old (presumably male) skull in the Pavlodar region of Kazakhstan provides otherwise.
The researchers at Tomask State University are now investigating how this creature was able to survive so much longer than many of its kind.
“Most likely, the south of Western Siberia was a ‘refuge’, where this rhino persevered the longest in comparison with the rest of its range,” stated Andrei Shpanski, a paleontologist at the school. “There is another possibility that it could migrate and dwell for a while in the more southern areas.”
In fact, experts at TSU contend that the rhinos could be found across a vast habitat that spanned from the Don river to the east of modern Kazakhstan, and lived there for a very long time before dying out completely.
Note: Radiocarbon dating on the unicorn skull was performed at Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland.