Marco Polo Believed In Unicorns

Marco Polo Believed In Unicorns

Marco Polo seemed quite disappointed in the "unicorns" he discovered: "They have hair like that of a buffalo, feet like those of an elephant, and a horn in the middle of the forehead, which is black and very thick ... The head resembles that of a wild boar, and they carry it ever bent towards the ground. They delight much to abide in mire and mud. 'Tis a passing ugly beast to look upon, and is not in the least like that which our stories tell of as being caught in the lap of a virgin; in fact, 'tis altogether different from what we fancied." This account is especially strange because Sumatran rhinos have two horns, not one. There is a species of one-horned rhino, commonly known as the Indian rhino, with the Latin name Rhinoceros unicornis.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Nepal's Chitwan National Park supports about 60 to 70 species of mammals. (1:16)

  • 2

    Greater one-horned rhinos are semi-aquatic. (3:19)

  • 3

    By wallowing in the mud, greater one-horned rhinos can stay cool and guard against parasites. (3:58)

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