Although they are rarely seen by people, narwhals do exist in nature. They are sometimes compared to unicorns because of their single large tusk that resembles a unicorn's horn, which may explain why some people believe that they are fictional creatures.
Estimates of the narwhal population size range from 45,000 to 80,000 individuals, which gives them Near Threatened conservation status. They live in the Arctic, mostly around Russia, Canada, Norway and Greenland. Typically, only male narwhals have the large tusk for which the species is famous. Biologists are not certain what the tusk is for, but they believe it may have sensory abilities and help males establish dominance.