Narwhals, along with their closest relative, the beluga whales, dwell in the Arctic waters all over Canada, Russia and Greenland. Their single tusk – an overgrown canine tooth, is what conjures up their alternate identify, “unicorns of the sea”.
Mysterious Unicorns of the Sea
They hunt under deep pack ice in the winter months and they typically suffocate if they are unable to get to an open up stretch to breathe and if the ice is as well thick to crack. Youthful narwhals are also killed by polar bears, their main predators, waiting around by a practical gap in the ice as properly as packs of orcas.
The Inuit people have hunted narwhals and other Arctic creatures for their skin, meat, vertebrae (for carving) and tusks. Outsiders did not know narwhals existed right until the 18th century considering that number of traveled to this kind of inhospitable parts.
Early sailors, though mystified by why so lots of “unicorns” selected to die on cold northern seashores, gathered the tusks for sale. They were worthy of often as considerably as 10-11 moments their fat in gold. Monarchs and the really wealthy prized them as poison detectors!
Royal food items tasters have been needed not just to sample the monarch’s foodstuff but also to wave the intended unicorn horn more than the food stuff and even dip it into foods and consume for fantastic measure. No one in fact tested this for hundreds of years – it was simply just considered that the unicorn horn would sweat, alter colour or shake if it arrived close to poison. Or even render poison harmless.
She paid out 10,000 lbs for an additional “unicorn horn”- the price tag of a castle in her time. She also drank from a cup created from a tusk believing that the “unicorn horn” would explode if it had poison in it. It by no means did.
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