Snowy fairytale peacocks give unicorns a run for the money

Stripped of color, white peacocks reveal an incomparable magical elegance.

Everyone loves the beauty of blue Indian peacocks, right? They are marvels of color and pattern, revered throughout history for their singular showy display. I mean, they are giant cobalt-blue and malachite-green iridescent birds with hundreds of mystical eyes on their transformer tails, what's not to be mesmerized by?

But here's the thing. When you strip away all that pomp and circumstance, all that brilliant color and flashy motif – as is the case with white peacocks – what's left is a creature of singular elegance. The beauty becomes a story of form and grace and emphasis is placed on the exquisite lines that are lost in the excitement of a blue peacock's ornamentation. Seriously, narwhals aside, they are the closest things to unicorns in terms of magic ... if you swing that way. They should be cavorting in fields with their mystical equine friends, under an impossible mix of moonlight and rainbows, attended by virgins!

White peacocksGiang Hồ Thị Hoàng/flickr/CC BY 2.0

White peacock© Winthrop Brookhouse

But fantastic reverie aside, for a minute at least, there is science behind the magic. White peacocks are often referred to as albino peacocks, but such is not the case. While albino peacocks do exist they are rare, most white peacocks are the result of a genetic mutation ... lucky birds if you ask me. Albino animals are unable to produce melanin – animals with leucism, like white peacocks, have reduced pigment. True albino peacocks have pink or red eyes, peacocks with leucism have dark eyes.

White peacockCOLORED PENCIL/flickr/CC BY 2.0

White peacocks© Paula Cobleigh

White peacocksMark Wheadon/flickr/CC BY 2.0

Aren't they exquisite? As if they are accompanied by their own snowy explosions of lace. To see them in fluid action, watch the video below – inspiration for all Vegas showgirls, and for anyone wanting some real-life magic in their lives.

Tags: Animals | Birds

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