Scotland’s National Animal

Olivia Bradley, Staff Writer

The Unicorn was believed to be the natural enemy of the lion, a symbol that the English royals adopted. According to folklore, the lion and the unicorn hate each other, which partly mainly the reason why Scotland has the unicorn as its national animal. The second natural enemy? The elephant. In Western parts of the world, the unicorn was believed to be real for around two thousand and five hundred years and was adopted as Scotland’s national animal by King Robert in the late thirteen hundreds.

The existence of the mythical creature was only disproved in eighteen fifty five by scientist Baron George Covier, who said it was not feasible for an animal that had a split hoof to have a single horn coming from the top of its head. Worldwide, belief in the unicorn lasted well over four thousand years, particularly in eastern Asia where it was a benevolent bringer of good luck, this belief that Europeans held so strongly influenced a lot of the elite in the societies of the ancient world. It is thought that there were several animals which influenced the unicorn, including the most common, the Indian rhino. The way unicorns are now portrayed in society has very much changed from its noble, lofty status, to a very child orientated tale. It’s drawn a lot of characteristics from the Asian depictions of unicorns, this idea of a purely benevolent creature that has been immersed in a lot of modern society, probably due to the spread of media. But the unicorn in medieval Europe could be used for good or for evil. It could represent purity or lust depending on the depictions.