It’s understandable that many might think that Narwhals are mythological creatures connected to unicorns. They have an enchanting horn that looks like the rainbowy and lucky horn of the unicorn, just like what they say in the unicorn song!
There are great deals of misunderstandings and enigmas regarding narwhals.
Let’s start with its “horn”. It’s not really a horn! It’s actually the narwhal’s left front tooth. The “horn” is not growing out of the forehead either. It grows out of the narwahl’s lip. There are other animals that have teeth or tusks that grow outside of the mouth, such as elephants and walruses, but their tusks are usually curved. The narwhal tooth, on the other hand is the only straight tusk in the world. It’s also one of the few animals that have teeth with a spiral shape.,The “horn” tooth usually grows in a counterclockwise spiral direction. It is flexible and can bend up a foot in any direction, without breaking.
But that’s not all: the tooth is actually inside out when you compare it to other animals. All the nerves are on the outside, which is a good reason that narwhals wouldn’t want to use their sensitive tooth as a kind of sword. In fact, narwhals have never been witnessed using their tusks to fight.
It is hard to know exactly what the tusk is used for because narwhals do not survive in captivity. Current theories suggest the tusk could be used to determine social rank, impress the ladies, or communicate information about the water it has traveled through.
Narwhals migrate seasonally and travel in pods through arctic waters. Summers are often spent in the shallow, ice-free waters, closer to the coast. During the winter, they stay in a smaller area and live among the shifting ice and cracks. Their underwater life is very secretive. No one has reported seeing narwhals, eat or mate underwater.
The mysterious narwhal has inspired many myths around the world. In the Middle Ages, the narwhal tusk was sold as a unicorn horn. Physicians of that time believed it could cure the plague, increase virility, detect poison, and even raise the dead. No wonder it was worth 10 times its weight in gold and became one of the most coveted substances in Europe.
It is said that thrones of Danish kings, utensils of French royalty, and thanes’ scepters, were all made from the left front tooth
of this mystical marvel.