The unicorn myth
Unicorns have become an integral part of our pop culture. They appear again and again in films, radio plays and books and adorn countless merchandise products and unicorn gift ideas . But where does the unicorn myth actually come from? There are a lot of questions, so we have put together a unicorn FAQ for you here!
You can also read our blog post “ The Unicorn – between myth and reality ” here:
Origin & provenance
Unicorns are mythical creatures and unfortunately do not exist in the real world. They are mythological creatures that appear in various cultures and legends. And while unicorns are common in popular culture, there is no scientific evidence of their existence.
But between us: we firmly believe in magic and the world of unicorns ! Because there are no limits to our imagination !
The myth about unicorns has a long history and has appeared in different cultures and eras. The earliest references to unicorns come from ancient Greek mythology . There they were described as wild and untamable creatures. Unicorns later appeared in the writings of Physiologus , a Christian bestiary collection from the 2nd century.
Unicorns became a popular theme in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance . They were portrayed as elegant and majestic creatures , often associated with purity and innocence . Unicorns were also common in heraldry and heraldry and were used as a symbol of royal power and strength .
There are various theories about how the myth about unicorns came about. Some researchers believe that stories about unicorns may be based on real observations of animals such as narwhals, rhinos or antelopes, altered by exaggeration and legend-making. Others see the origin of unicorns in human imagination and the desire for magical and wondrous creatures.
There have been reports of unicorn sightings in the past, but these were most likely misinterpretations or legends created in connection with other animals such as the oryx. The oryx , also known as gemsbok or gemsbok, is a species of antelope that can in fact bear certain similarities to the idea of a unicorn . The male oryx has long, straight horns that grow individually on the forehead and are pointed in shape.
If you look at the oryx from the side, from certain angles it might appear as if it only has a single horn. This optical illusion may have led people to misidentify the oryx as a unicorn . So the association is mainly based on an external similarity and not on the entire mythological concept of a unicorn .
Optics, symbolism & powers
The idea of what unicorns look like has changed over time. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe, unicorns were often depicted as graceful and majestic creatures with some resemblance to white horses . They had a single horn on their forehead that was often pointed and straight.
However, the idea of the unicorn varied from culture to culture and throughout history. In some depictions, the unicorn had a goat- or deer-like shape with a single horn. In other cultures, unicorns were described as wild and untamable and may have had a rather menacing appearance.
It is important to note that the visual imagination of unicorns has been heavily influenced by artistic interpretations, myths and legends. There was no single "correct" representation, but rather a wide range of variations and ideas that depended on the culture, the time and the individual artist.
So we are particularly pleased that in the rainbow-colored glitter world of Pummel & Friends we find the unique, cuddly unicorn specimens that are guaranteed to be in no way inferior to their graceful unicorn ancestors.
In traditional mythology, there are various conceptions of unicorns , which can differ in appearance and characteristics. Here are some examples:
The classic unicorn is often depicted as an elegant white horse with a single straight horn on its forehead. It symbolizes purity and beauty.
This variation of the unicorn also has wings in addition to its horn and can fly. This mystical creature is also known as "Pegasus".
In some legends there are unicorns that live in the sea. They are often depicted as majestic creatures with a mix of horse and fish.
In Chinese mythology there is the Qilin, also known as the Chinese unicorn. It often has characteristics of other animals such as deer antlers, ox hooves or scales. The Qilin is seen as a symbol of luck, prosperity and harmony.
It is important to mention that the representation and interpretation of unicorns depend heavily on cultural tradition and artistic imagination.
The unicorn has acquired various symbolic meanings throughout history, which can vary from culture to culture. Here are a few examples:
Purity and Innocence:
Unicorns are often associated with purity and innocence due to their flawless appearance.
Magic and Fantasy:
Unicorns embody the (childish) imagination/fantasy and the wonderful. Their existence, beyond the real world, represents a world of possibility and the supernatural.
Strength and Power:
Unicorns are often depicted as majestic creatures that embody a certain royal authority. In some depictions, unicorns are even seen as kings of animals.
Spirituality and Transformation:
Unicorns are sometimes seen as beings with a connection to the spiritual realm. They can serve as a symbol of transformation and the transition between different worlds or states of consciousness.
However, in the entrepreneurial world , the term " unicorn " has a different meaning that differs significantly from the mythological interpretation of the unicorn myth . In this context, a unicorn refers to a startup company that has reached a market value of $1 billion or more even before going public.
The term " unicorn " is used to highlight the rarity and success of such ventures.
In mythological imagination , unicorns are often attributed special powers .
For example, they are often considered to have healing powers . Her horn is traditionally considered magical and healing. It is believed that the horn can cure diseases, neutralize poison or close wounds.
It is also said that their presence was seen as cleansing and clarifying , as they can drive away negative energies and create an atmosphere of purity and harmony. Unicorns are also sometimes seen as guardians of sacred places.
In many cultures and legends, the unicorn is viewed as a symbol of good luck and prosperity . It is considered a positive omen and good luck charm . The sight or idea of a unicorn can be associated with positive changes, success and happiness.
However, the connection between unicorns and happiness depends heavily on cultural lore and personal beliefs. For example, in some cultures, unicorns are viewed as protectors and companions who bring good luck and prosperity. Their pure and majestic appearance is interpreted as a positive sign.
Today's pop culture
Even today, the unicorn has great meaning for many people.
Symbol of individuality:
Unicorns are often associated with individuality, uniqueness and the ability to express yourself.
Symbol for fantasy:
The colorful unicorn world reminds us that it is important to preserve our childlike and creative side, explore new possibilities and pursue our dreams.
Signs of positivity and joy:
Unicorns are often associated with positive qualities such as joy, fun and light-heartedness. They can serve as a reminder to approach life with ease and enthusiasm.
Symbol for strength:
Unicorns are considered symbols of strength and resilience. Their majestic appearance and mythological nature can serve as encouragement to overcome obstacles and persevere against challenges.
Trend and pop culture:
In recent years, unicorns have had a strong presence in pop culture. Even today you can still find the magical mythical characters on various products such as unicorn mugs , clothing , unicorn cuddly toys , accessories , unicorn games , unicorn money boxes and many other unicorn gift ideas . Unicorns have become a popular motif that evokes joy and enthusiasm.
Unicorns have been popular for many years and have gained a notable presence in our pop culture. They have therefore become an integral part of our lives and therefore often appear in books, radio plays and films.
The Last Unicorn (Book & Film):
This unicorn is the main character in the 1968 novel by Peter S. Beagle and the 1982 animated film adaptation of the same name. It sets out on a journey to find its fellow unicorns and come to terms with the human world.
Harry Potter (book & film):
In JK Rowling's "Harry Potter" series, there is a unicorn that appears in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." Unicorns are considered magical creatures whose blood gives them special powers.
My Little Pony (Movie):
Rainbow Dash is a character from the popular cartoon "My Little Pony". She is a unicorn with a rainbow-colored mane and represents the element of loyalty.
In Pixar's 2020 animated film "Onward," a unicorn plays a humorous supporting role. However, it is not depicted as a majestic unicorn, but rather as a disheveled and dirty animal that likes to search through garbage cans.
Last but not least - the chubby unicorn!
Of course our Pummeleinhorn cannot be missing from this list! The fluffy unicorn made a significant contribution to the big unicorn hype in Germany in 2017. After various funny posts on social media shot through the roof in terms of reach, the demand for the cuddly unicorn with a sweet tooth became ever greater. Among other things, the firstradio play was published in 2019 in collaboration with Amazon Music and Audible . Due to its great success, many more seasons have been released since then and new adventures are already being planned. In 2023, the first Pummeleinhorn audio figure from tonies was released with two loving short audio plays . In addition to the radio play adventures , Pummel & Friends also has a large product range to discover with over 400 cute unicorn gifts for every age group.