Then, in March 2016, the skull of an Elasmotherium was unearthed in Kazakhstan. Moreover, this put the date of extinction much later – at only 29,000 years ago – and that changed things. Now there was at least a chance that the Elasmotherium would have been around long enough to be seen by humans – and inspire the unicorn legend.
Unfortunately for those who like to think of unicorns as the graceful white-haired horses that feature on posters – often with a rainbow in the background – the Elasmotherium was not quite so dainty. Rather than being an ethereal pony, it was closer in form to a terrifying monster rhinoceros.