[Watch] How Horses Proved A Legend

Annika Treial/Unsplash

Shipwreck mysteries are not always found underwater. Some species that are alive and breathing roam the earth. It’s a herd of wild horses in this instance as reported by List Verse.

Horses moored

The animals have been present on the island of Assateague, close to the coasts of Virginia and Maryland, for a very long time. How did they get there, though? Only an old folktale that claimed the first horses were marooned on the island after surviving a doomed Spanish galleon was all that was actually known.

Horse tooth

This legend’s veracity was accidentally proven. A scientist recently examined the DNA from what he believed to be a cow’s tooth during a study. The latter had been discovered in a Caribbean Spanish colony that had been deserted for many years. Analysis, though, soon revealed that the tooth belonged to a horse from the 16th century.

Animal’s ancestry

The DNA was matched to that of contemporary horses to learn more about the animal’s ancestry. Since the beginning, it has been assumed that the horse’s closest surviving ancestors come from the Iberian Peninsula, where the Spanish sourced their equines. The DNA of the teeth, however, was more closely associated with the enigmatic Assateague herd. This demonstrated that the Assateague horses could only have come from Spanish colonies and that they were in fact the mounts of explorers whose ships had sunk nearby.

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Source: List Verse


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