The narwhal is more than just another whale; with its mighty tusk, it's often called the unicorn of the sea and may have inspired many of the unicorn myths you hear today. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of this magnificent mammal.
The narwhal is a type of odontocete, or toothed whale.
Narwhals are commonly known as corpse whales because the creature's mottled appearance makes its resemble a bloated corpse.
The narwhal measures 5 feet at birth and grows to an average length of 13-20 feet (4-6 meters).
A typical narwhal weights in at 3,500 pounds.
Narwhals nosh on fish, shrimp and squid.
Narwhals live in the arctic regions around Russia, Greenland and North America. Unlike many other sea mammals, they prefer not to migrate.
The female narwhal reaches sexual maturity at age 5 and has a gestation period of 15 months.
A typical narwhal lives 30-40 years. The killer whale is the creature's only true predator, besides humans, of course.
Researchers have discovered that narwhals with tusks eat the same diet as those with no tusks, indicating that the tusk plays no real role in feeding.
For some inexplicable reason, the narwhal's left tooth is significantly larger than the right.
The average male narwhal tusk measures 8.8 feet.
The narwhal is a social creature and often lives in a pod ranging from two to 10 members.
Just 3 percent of female narwhals have a long tusk or tooth like their male counterparts.
Narwhals have a body fat percentage around 50 percent, which helps to keep them warm in arctic conditions. Most other whales have body fat in the 20-30 percent range.
The beluga whale is the narwhal's closest relative.
There are an estimated 80,000 narwhals on Earth, which puts them at near-threatened status, but they are not endangered.
The amazing and unexplained narwhal tusk grows continuously and will regenerate when worn or broken.
The narwhal has no dorsal fin but does have a ridge on its back where this fin would typically be located on a whale.
Many Inuit people feed narwhal skin, or muktuk, to sled dogs, though some people also consume the skin.
The narwhal has a whopping 10 million nerve endings in its tooth, allowing it to experience tremendous sensation through this appendage.
While people have long disagreed on the purpose of the narwhal tusk, scientists have only recently discovered that the tusk can detect changes in water pressure, temperature, salinity and particle content.
A narwhal tusk can bend up to 1 foot (30 centimeters) in any direction without breaking.
Narwhal tusks have long been prized for their magic or healing properties. Queen Elizabeth paid 10,000 pounds, the price of a castle, for a tusk back in the 16th century.
Narwhal tusks are often algae covered and have a spiral pattern — yes, like a unicorn.
The spirals on a narwhal tusk always run counterclockwise, even on the rare creatures born with two tusks instead of one.
Narwhal actually have no other teeth beyond their prominent tusks.
Narwhal skin has as much vitamin C as an orange, pound-for-pound, and has served an important role in the survival of the Inuit people over the years.
Despite their intriguing appearance, you will rarely see a narwhal in an aquarium. In the past, the majority of these creatures have died after a few months in captivity.
Narwhals start off blue-gray and lighten as they age. Adults are a mottled gray, while elderly narwhals are almost entirely white.
Since 1972, it's been illegal to sell narwhal tusk in the U.S. Tusks brought into the country before that time go for around $1,700 per foot at auction.