What if unicorns were real animals? They could be if the evolution had played out differently.
The Siberian unicorn was a real animal, but it died out. And the Siberian unicorn didn't resemble the horse-like, magical creature we imagine the unicorn to be today.
Evolution could have created a real unicorn
Rhinos have horns, but horses do not. Things could be different.
The rhinoceros and Equidae (horse animals) are classified under the same taxonomic order; Perissodactyla or odd-toed ungulates. The earliest rhinoceroses were small and hornless. They looked like tapirs or tiny horses.
Rhinos developed their horns through evolution. The same could have happened to horses too!
Would horses need a horn?
But nature doesn't create anything unnecessary. If horses needed horns, they would have them.
Rhinos use their horns for self-defense or to protect their offspring. Male rhinos also use their horns to fight each other.
Horses can run and kick, so they don't need horns. They fight by kicking and escape from predators by running.
But the reality doesn't prevent us from playing with the idea of a horse with a unicorn horn. Science News for Students published an article on how science could create a unicorn.
Science News for Students cites a biologist Paul Knoepfler. According to Knoepfler, creating a horse with a horn might be possible with gene mutation.
On the other hand, the deer have horns, even though they don't have large heads. Deer are slender animals, and they are fast runners like horses. But they still have horns. So, why not horses?
It's hard to say the exact reason why evolution didn't give a horse a horn. If a horse with a horn would exist, though, it wouldn't have the magical powers of a unicorn.
So, after all, it seems creating a real unicorn would be impossible.