The Korean news service has reported that archaeologists from the History Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences have stumbled across the find of a century in Pyongyang: the existence of unicorns in ancient Korea.
This is no Onion News article extolling the supreme leader as Sexiest Man Alive 2012 – the archaeologists believe that they have, in fact, found the place where ancient Korean King Tongmyong of the Koguryo Kingdom kept his unicorn. Mainly because it’s labelled “Unicorn Lair”. Literally:
A rectangular rock carved with words “Unicorn Lair” stands in front of the lair. The carved words are believed to date back to the period of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392).
Of course, most people who come across words carved in stone that said “Unicorn Lair” would, you know, not believe it. Why would these archaeologists immediately assume that a unicorn lived at this ancient site?
Well according to Jo Hui Sung, director of the Institute, unicorns appear in history books. And King Tongmyong used to ride them around:
Korea’s history books deal with the unicorn, considered to be ridden by King Tongmyong, and its lair.
The Sogyong (Pyongyang) chapter of the old book ‘Koryo History’ (geographical book), said: Ulmil Pavilion is on the top of Mt. Kumsu, with Yongmyong Temple, one of Pyongyang’s eight scenic spots, beneath it. The temple served as a relief palace for King Tongmyong, in which there is the lair of his unicorn.
I’m picturing some poor white pony with a horn strapped to its head being made to prance about while they set off fireworks in the vicinity.
Who knows if Korea is attempting to troll China through the news (People’s Daily seems just a little gullible), or if they actually, seriously believe that unicorns are as real as dinosaurs.
It would seem, however, that there would be motive to…bend the truth. You see, a discovery such as this unicorn lair would imply that Pyongyang was a capital of Ancient Korea and the Koguryo Kingdom – giving it some serious historical cred to back up the North’s claims of dominance over the South.
I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you want to believe that unicorns are real or not.