Can Unicorns Fly?

Unicorns are known for their magical abilities. Their list of unique and special talents has only grown longer as they have expanded their presence across the globe. As a result, the answer to this question varies depending on the time period of the unicorn in question.

Historically, unicorns were known for their purity, nobility, strength, and connection with good. In written accounts of the unicorn over the last few thousand years, the ability to fly is rarely mentioned. Unicorns were originally believed to be large beasts more akin to oxen or rhinos. But as more people began to talk about the unicorn, the common perception of the mythical creature shifted to the majestic white stallion we know today.

Pegasus

As time progressed and the stories of the unicorn evolved, another similar mythical creature entered into the tales. The Pegasus, another white stallion of legend written about by the ancient Greeks, was known alongside the unicorn. The two creatures are visually very similar – the Pegasus has wings and no horn while the unicorn has a horn and no wings. Nowadays, many people believe the two creatures are very closely related and modern culture combines the two together frequently. They are very different, however!

The Pegasus was always a creature closely associated with tales of ancient gods and heroes in Greek mythology. It has a close affiliation to Poseidon and Zeus, as well as the being the mount of the hero Perseus. The Pegasus was said to carry the thunderbolts of Zeus and wherever its feet touched the ground a new spring of pure water would come forth. The ancient Greeks did not see the unicorn as a creature of legend, they truly believed the unicorn to be a creature that simply lived in another part of the world just like elephants or tigers.

Alicorn

Nowadays, unicorns, Pegasus, and hybrids of the two are very common. It is not unusual to see a flying unicorn or a Pegasus with a horn. While unicorns are much more closely associated with Christianity than Greek mythology, many think the two creatures are closely tied together.

There is a special name for flying unicorns, or unicorn and Pegasus hybrids. These creatures are called alicorns. Alicorns are depicted as winged unicorns and took this special name in the early 1900’s. The joining of unicorns and Pegasus became especially common around the 1970’s when the two would be forever combined in fantasy stories and art. This recent development is not the first time the two have been combined. Historians have found seals from the ancient Assyrian empire depicting alicorns that were created more than 2,500 years ago and lost to time.

So, can unicorns fly? The answer is – YES! A flying unicorn may or may not be called an alicorn depending on the source, but they are just as spectacular as regular unicorns and have been acknowledged by prominent societies for thousands of years.