Tuesday, April 16th 2019, 11:37 am - Real-life unicorns are actually a thing.
Image: Susan Cipriano, Creative Commons
You might think that unicorns are just mythical creatures that exist solely in books, movies and, Starbucks beverages but that’s not the case.
A lucky family in Australia has what might be the closest thing to a real-life unicorn in their backyard.
An Australian sheep managed to evade slaughter because of the unicorn-styled horn in the middle of his head.
Michael Foster, a stock agent from Southern Australia, said he was checking out a stock of sheep near his home town in Burra when he discovered the unique animal.
The sheep, dubbed Joey, stood out because of the sole horn across its head, that gives it the appearance of a unicorn.
"I thought it might have been a joke to start with, but I thought, 'yeah it looks like a unicorn,'" Foster told 7News Adelaide.
Reports say the sheep’s appearance is due to one of his horns not fully developing.
When he found out that the one-horned fellow was going to be sold, Foster decided to trade it for a two-pack of beer.
Foster told 7News that he’s going to make Joey famous.
“We’ll break him in, take him to shows and pageants, and who knows where we can go, maybe Hollywood,” he told 7News.
Joey isn’t the first time a ‘unicorn sheep’ was discovered.
In 2017, farmers in Iceland found that a sheep from their livestock resembled the mythical creature. The sheep, which was named ‘einhyrningur’ which is "unicorn" in Icelandic, had its two horns fused together, giving it the appearance of one big horn.
The unusual animal "always looks slightly surprised or sad in expression," the farmers told the BBC.
The farmers credit their unicorn to a “weird sort of geological mutation that causes the horns to grow in such an unusual way.”
While it’s a rare occurrence for animals in the wild to have one horn naturally, there are cases where humans have played a hand in ‘making’ unicorns.
In 2016, a 16-year-old sheep from Bristol, England was dubbed a unicorn after a schoolyard accident left her with one horn.
Children had been playing with the animal named Peanut on a school field trip to a farm when they snapped off her horn by accident.
Fortunately for Peanut, she wasn’t in any pain, and she ended becoming a star attraction at the Hartcliffe Community Farm in Bristol.