back to article Archaeologists uncover 'Unicorn's lair'

The lair of a unicorn ridden by King Tongmyong, one of many monarchs from Korea's Koryo Kingdom, has been found, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state-run agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Lest you doubt the report, know that the KCNA's Introduction page tells us the agency "speaks …


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  1. bobdobbs

    For the headline,

    I think I would consider putting "archaeologists" in quotes as well, el reg.

    1. LaeMing

      Re: For the headline,

      Well, all the archaeologists in the story are claiming is that they found a square rock room labeled "Unicorn's Lair". The NK government is, of course, doing what governments the world over do when some scientists come up with some minor find that can be blown up into a propaganda parade.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: For the headline,

        So does that mean if I get the words "this is the last unicorn penis" tattooed with 1000 year old charcoal in the appropriate place... It won't be all in a single line mind, but...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Eddy Ito

          I'm certain they will correct the error bars and drift in the Charcoal dating by checking if the rings match annual weather estimations first Eddy... ;)

      2. bobdobbs

        Re: For the headline,

        True enough.

        I have to admit, I didn't even read the article before laying out that quip.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For the headline,

      Accurate reporting with that image?

      Seems a bit of a rarity...

    3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: For the headline,

      In the best tradition of El Reg "trick cyclist" appellations; shouldn't "archaeologists" in this case be "sand pit explorers"?

  2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Seen elsewhere ...

    The Koreans also have a saying: Drink until you see unicorns.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seen elsewhere ...

      But for how long should the unicorns drink?

  3. frank ly

    The way NK chooses its 'leader', ...

    .. they've got an 'ancient right of kings' thing going on there. After that, unicorns are fine by me.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On a related note:

    Time's "Person of the year 2012":,28804,2128881_2129111_2129112,00.html

    ...I suspect some shenanigans...

    1. 2FishInATank

      Re: On a related note:

      That would be /b/ at work:

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: On a related note:

      It may be worth noting that Time's "Person of the Year" is supposed to be the most newsworthy person (or thing, or abstract concept, or whatever they decide to pick) for the year - not necessarily a good person, or even a (directly) influential one.

      It's probably not worth noting that of course any Internet poll of even vague interest to a group of significant size will be gamed. Internet polls are designed to attract readers, not elicit information (except about which option is more appealing to people with nothing better to do).

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. jake Silver badge

    Here in California ...

    ... my wife gets her NORKs off on my single horn ...

    Yadda, yadda, yadda. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever.

    Bottom line, the North Korean people are three panes of glass away from freedom. It'll happen. Hopefully in my lifetime ... I have a couple 300 year old split-cane fly-rods that I'd like to restore for my Grandaughter. I *think* I know how to do the work, but I don't want to cock it up before I start ... The only folks who actually know how to rebuild that kit are in NK, alas ...

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Here in California ...

      Split cane rods aren't that rare. They are expensive, sure, but there are several people who can successfully repair them. They also just simply degrade over time. If they haven't been cared for properly it may be too late to save them.

      1. proto-robbie

        Re: Here in California ...

        Or here in Scotland - my father used to make them, and I believe has eight of differing provenance and vintage. The art has not passed down, alas.

  7. David 45


    And I'm the Queen of Sheba!

    1. cosymart

      Re: Deluded

      Welcome to these humble pages o great Queen. <no homophobia here>

  8. Neily-boy
    Big Brother

    Be warned! Remember what happened to Hans Brix.

    Simon Sharwood will be sneering on the other side of his disembodied face when he gets dropped into the Shark Tank for writing this strongly worded report.

    1. Roger Stenning

      Re: Be warned! Remember what happened to Hans Brix.

      I think you mean "retort" rather than "report" ;-)

  9. Blofeld's Cat

    Sounds familiar...

    In the twelfth century a grave and lead cross were "discovered" at Glastonbury Abbey carrying the legend "Here lies interred the famous King Arthur on the Isle of Avalon".

    The abbey church was being rebuilt at the time. There had been a fire, and the number of visiting pilgrims had dropped off dramatically...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds familiar...

      Much like Padre Pio then,. who would always have one of his stigmata moments whenever the church needed a bit of wonga.

  10. icetrout

    Commies will say anything to get a laugh... Ah-hahahahahahahaha :P

  11. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    This unicorn... there a song along the lines of "I so lonely" interred in there as well?

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: This unicorn...

      I so ronery

  12. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    How do I picture a "Unicorn Lair"?

    A deep underground structure that is also secret command and control center managed by unicorns, possibly with flashing lights and doomsday crystals?

    1. 404

      Re: How do I picture a "Unicorn Lair"?

      Don't laugh - MiniMe runs NK since Dr. Evil passed away - he looks the type to be humping frikkin' unicorns with "lasers" attached to their heads...


  13. Anakin

    Wrong picture

    The asian unicorn is a diferent breed

    1. illiad

      Re: Wrong picture

      so, a 'horned devil' (*two* horns!) or antelope, or even just a male deer ???

      or even

    2. tkioz

      Re: Wrong picture

      Looks like something out of a MLP/Anime crossover.

    3. Old Handle

      Re: Wrong picture

      I have to say that does look more like something that belongs in a "lair".

    4. Allan George Dyer

      Re: Wrong picture

      Anakin, you beat me to it, the Qilin or Kirin only slightly resembles the western unicorn. But you could have mentioned the most likely place for this crowd to find one - on a bottle of beer:

      Yes, illiad, very like a deer or antelope, if flames crawling over the body are normal for those species.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Catching one...

    I believe involves the use of virgins. Or at least A virgin. Them NK's are always good for a larf. Whatever will they come up with next.

    1. mike2R

      Re: Catching one...

      And how do you find a virgin?

      Right. Start with the unicorn...

  15. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Obvious why their borders are so heavily guarded

    What with having the sexiest man in the world as their leader, *and* unicorns, if the North Koreans didn't guard their borders so well, they'd be swamped by people wanting to live there.

  16. David Pollard

    Much like the Bosnian pyramids

    "Before the Mesopotamian empire, before the pharaohs of Egypt, the civilization of Old Europe imbued with divinity the sun, moon, sky, sea, horizon, and other aspects of the natural world..."

    The Bosnian pyramids were apparently built 25,000 years ago. Even now there still seem to be people volunteering to help with excavations and prepared to fund this operation.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


      "the entire history of the development of human civilization will have to be rewritten with Bosnia-Herzegovina at its centre"

      Oh my God. Much the like the "undersea road to Atlantis" from the Bermudas (turned out to be a natural formation).

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Much like the Bosnian pyramids

      So you mean it can look like a unicorn, if you look at it from the right direction and squint a bit?

      Meanwhile, every actual geologist who's taken a look has described the Bosnian pyramids as, er, "hills". I wish 'em luck with the excavations, it takes the aggregates industry several years to chew through a decent sized hill using explosives, humungous excavators and 40-tonne dumper trucks, never mind doing it with trowels and buckets.....

      1. Throatwobbler Mangrove

        Re: Much like the Bosnian pyramids

        Presumably the pyramids were discovered right at the moment when Medjugorje stopped attracting the tourists and there was a vacancy in the Balkan-crystal-spiritual-day-trip market. See also the Serbian vampire village panic that's going on:

  17. Chris Thomas Alpha

    social sciences?

    the key to understanding is right sciences? hahahahah, put on this McDonalds shirt and answer the customers, theres a good chap!!

  18. tkioz

    Oh North Korea... you little scamp, trying so hard to be stranger than Japan.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Unfortunately only a capitalist economy can support Japan's strangeness levels.

      Subsistence farmers enjoying the righteous fruits of the proletariat's dictatorship only infinitesimally away from Marx' "end of history" - not so much.

  19. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    The block was so time-worn that most of the lettering was indistinguishable. What it really said was:

    UNIx CORe Net LAyeR

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny how

    the DPNK are alluding to sovereignty over the Korean peninsular based on a fairy tale of a unicorn ridden by an absolute monarch.

    I would have thought absolute monarchy would not be something they wished to be proud of.....oh, hang on, I guess absolutism is what they have now eh?

    Anyway, from my reading, King Tongmyong was founder of the most northerly of the three Kingdoms of Korea, not the entire peninsular.

    .../ now, I must be off to feed the dragons at the bottom of the garden.

  21. TheOtherMe

    Name of a Pub?

    Perhaps they have found the oldest pub with a cute name, not an actual lair of unicorns?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Name of a Pub?

      So you think that stone tablet is a sign of the times?

  22. mickey mouse the fith

    As an aside, I remember reading somewhere that legends of unicorns in the west came about from people finding the spikey thing from a narwhal`s head (actually a twisted tooth) and for some reason thinking they belonged to a type of mystical horsey. I would love to know the logic of this, why a horse?

    1. Antoine Dubuc


      Because it makes a better story

    2. Neoc

      Possible explanation

      Horns were things found on land animals. The more obvious ones would be sheep/rams (too small), cows (too small) and deer/elks. Well, they kinda look like that, right? But it's too straight to be useful when attached as pairs on either side of the head. Therefore we have a deer-like animal with a single horn in the centre of its forehead. Why a horse? Well, here was a deer-like animal with a nice flattish forehead, and thus was used as the template to draw the Unicorn.

      Hmmm... just the sort of thinking that is thought to have given rise to the Centaur in ancient Greece - horses were used solely to pull chariots (ditto in Egypt, btw) and the concept of *riding* a horse would have been pretty much unknown. Can you imagine a Greek trying to make sense of a horse-and-rider trotting/galloping past? Especially if they were late in noticing it?

    3. Bumpy Cat


      I believe some rather clever Viking traders managed to sell a narwhal horn as a unicorn horn to the Caliph of Baghdad.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Completing North Korea's new role as a fantasyland...

    Following the discovery of unicorns, North Korea announced that it can feed it's own people!

    1. Neoc

      Re: Completing North Korea's new role as a fantasyland...

      What are they feeding them to?

  24. Trollslayer

    It was identified by

    a small pile of rocking horse droppings outside.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did this kingdom also lay claim to the sea now known as South China Sea?

    .. that would be a good addition to the fairy tale peddled by the Chinese Propaganda Ministry.

  26. Archivist


    The inscriptions mention mythical beasts, just as ours speak of dragons. This mythical beast was known over China, Korea and Japan from the tales of travellers. It is thought that it referred to the giraffe and in Japanese they share the same name -kirin..... as well as for a beer!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    North has also announced it is about to test a new missile

    So is the south.

  28. NomNomNom

    Glorious Leader has ride horn of mighty unicorn many time! Sings amazement!

  29. Ramon Casha

    Noah's Ark anyone?

    Almost as amazing as the American archaeologist who found Noah's Ark, in which 2 or 7 of every species on earth spend almost an entire year floating around while the surface of the planet was completely covered with water.

    1. NomNomNom

      Re: Noah's Ark anyone?

      remember the world was flat back then though so it would have been easier to have it all covered in water

  30. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Err.... when I was teaching Korean history it was the south-eastern Silla kingdom that conquered the northern Goguyeo kingdom after Goguyeo had tried to invade Silla.

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Your Korean history isn't the DPRK's

      Your Korean history is something very different than North Korea's "Choson history". They may be Korean, but you know more about their dynastic period's history than the DPRK's history professors, I almost guarantee you. A South Korean probably not, but the DPRK has so perverted academics in their country that you follow the Political Line, or else, no matter what the truth really is.

      They only teach things at all levels of the DPRK's education system that make the KWP, the KPA, and the Central leadership in the National Defense Commission look good by relating everything they possibly can to their version of Korean History. Since the Silla were from the area that's now part of South Korea (which is never capitalized in DPRK documentation, as you may know) they're not mentioned at all except for possibly at Kim il-Sung University in Pyongyang, as it is the University for the KWP elites, but even then they may not.

      North Korea isn't as hard to figure out as people make it out to be. If its Juche, Songbun, or anything supporting the Suryeong, and has nothing to do with the puppets in the South or their "false" historic figures or their "puppet leaders" and "puppet army" (unless its something about their countrymen in the South "yearning for liberation" from the unequal and oppressive South Korean society), then its good as far as North Korea is concerned.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cornify NK

    Remy Porter made it to NK?

  32. Minophis

    I can't spot any flaws in their logic

    The scientists reportedly unearthed "A rectangular rock carved with words 'Unicorn Lair' ... in front of the lair."

    That is some pretty compelling evidence, I'm convinced. Now we just have to see what excuses Seoul come up with for dodging this glorious manifest destiny.

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