June 01, 2022 2 min read

National animals or birds are normally naturally connected with the culture and eco-arrangement of a specific country. However, a few of these nationalistic 'specimens' exist in the realm of fantasy and memories.

Some countries proudly boast emblematic critters that are straight-out bizarre or even mythological, making them a tad odder than the normal national country animals that we usually see on the National Geographic channel.


So, here's a list of various unusual country animals that you might not have heard of before.


Unicorn (Scotland)

Unicorn with a saltire on top of Edinburgh's Mercat Cross

Scotland's national animal, the Unicorn, is an animal that is magnificent and legendary. It shows up on Scotland's Royal Coat of Arms to symbolize immaculateness, strength, and freedom.

In Celtic mythology, the Unicorn symbolized purity and innocence and power and masculinity. It had tales of dominance and chivalry associated with it for a long time, and maybe because of that particular reason, it was chosen as Scotland's national animal.












Chollima "The Magical Horse" (North Korea)

North Koreans riding Chollima the flying horse

It isn't that surprising that North Korea has decided on a legendary animal for its nationalistic pride. In any case, what truly is fascinating relates to the folkloric credentials of the 'Chollima' - a mystical winged horse that is portrayed as being swift and svelte beyond mortal means.

The legend of the mythical horse began around the third century BC in China, when it was known as 'Qianlima' (or 'thousand-li pony'), as it could gallop at a speed of 400 km per day.









Dodo (Mauritius)

symbol of Mauritius the Dodo bird

There is no denying that Dodo had influenced the world of literature and mainstream society - with frequently utilized phrases like 'as dead as a dodo' or even 'as dumb as a dodo.'

However, such negative underlying meanings haven't halted the reception of the long-terminated flightless bird in a few national symbols of Mauritius, including on the country's coat of arms and as a prominent watermark in the country's currency notes.





Druk (Bhutan)

Tashiccho dzong in Thimphu, Bhutan

The Druk or the 'Thunder Dragon' is an intrinsic symbol of Bhutanese culture, mythology, and monarchy. With that in mind, the extravagantly scaled drake is unmistakably included in Bhutan's national flag and national anthem. At the same time, the Himalaya-settled country itself is called 'Druk Yul' (in Dzongkha), which means the 'Place where there is Druk.'

The predominance of the dragon-inspired scope also stretches out to individual titles, with the heads of Bhutan being referred to as Druk Gyalpo or 'Thunder Dragon Kings.'



Final Thoughts

Ruins of the beautiful Urquhart castle on Loch Ness

Having unusual national country animals is a good thing as it allows those countries to stand out from the norm. Ready to find our own mythical creatures? Head to Ireland and snap a pic of a Leprechaun. Or fly to Scotland to see if you can find Nessie. Or travel to England and see the Queen! Don't forget to pin your travels when you return! 

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