There are all sorts of ways countries can identify themselves. Think of a flag, but also a national anthem or typical traditional clothing. But did you know that every country has a national animal? In most cases, these are animals that have something to do with the local nature or culture. Some countries really take it to the next level. Want to know which countries these are? You can read it in the top 10 countries with a unique national animal.

10. North Korea – Chollima


Not every country has a national animal that actually exists. This also applies to North Korea. A mythical horse named Chollima is the national animal of this country. This magical horse is capable of flying and is moreover immortal. That of course fits perfectly with the national pride that North Korea feels.

9. Singapore – Merlion

Gerold Kogler/wikimediacommons

We stay a bit longer with the mythical animals, Singapore has also chosen a fictional animal as its national animal, namely the Merlion. This ‘animal’ has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. The name is thus a blend of “mermaid” and “lion”. The Merlion was specially designed for Singapore in 1964.

8. Mauritius – Dodo

dodo (1)

The beautiful African island of Mauritius has chosen an extinct animal as its national animal. The dodo was a bird that could not fly and moreover did not have too good a reputation. There is a reason for the saying that someone is as dumb as a dodo (they turned out not to be so dumb after all). The dodo was only found on Mauritius and they are proud of that, you even find the Dodo in their national coat of arms.

7. Bhutan – Druk

dragon bhutan

In Bhutan too, a mythical animal is the symbol for a country. The Druk is a fictional thunder dragon that plays an important role in the local culture of the country Bhutan. It is not strange, therefore, that this animal has been chosen as the national animal. They also call the country “Druk Yul” which means as much as “the land of the Druk”. And the national airline of the country is called Drukair.

6. Greece – Phoenix


We are cheating a bit, the national animal of Greece is actually a dolphin, a quite normal choice. However, Greece also has a national bird, and that is none other than the phoenix. This mythical creature of course plays a big role in Greek mythology. The ancient Greeks believed that the phoenix was capable of being reborn from its own ashes over and over again.

5. Myanmar – Green Peafowl

Grey peacock-pheasant
Kispál Attila/wikimedia commons

The Green Peafowl is actually a pheasant, but it has impressive feathers that remind you of a peacock. What’s special about these animals is that they are not afraid to impress others with their beautiful feathers. Especially the males do their best to impress with the bright colors on their body, hoping to snag a beautiful female. Did you know that the Netherlands, besides the lion, our national animal, also has a national bird? In 2015, the Dutch public chose the black-tailed godwit as the national bird.

4. Panama – Harpy Eagle

Jitze Couperus/flickr

When you are looking for one of the most dangerous and strong predators in South America, you are at the right place with the Harpy Eagle. This large bird is named after a mythological creature with the same name. This mythical creature had the face of a human but the body of an eagle. When you see a photo of the Harpy Eagle, it will not surprise you that this real bird is named after a mythological being.

3. Monaco – Hedgehog, Rabbit, and Wood Mouse


Not one, but three different animals are the national symbol for Monaco. This country has chosen three cute and small animals. It is not clear why these animals represent the country, but it is definitely sweet. Monaco may be a small country, but it is known for its wealth and opulence.

2. Congo – Okapi


The Okapi doesn’t know what it wants to be, a zebra or a giraffe, a peculiar mix. These animals have long had a special reputation. The animals were photographed in the wild for the first time in 2008. They had already been seen in zoos for a long time. Another fun fact about these special animals is that they are the closest relative of the giraffe. At the same time, their legs look like those of a zebra, which makes these animals a fun mix.

1. Scotland – Unicorn


Since the twelfth century, the unicorn has been the symbol for Scotland. It might sound strange, but it actually isn’t. Unicorns have played a significant role in the culture of Scotland for ages. Mythical stories about the animals have been told for centuries and have actually ensured that the fictional animal is still so well known today. Moreover, unicorns are pure, innocent, and have healing powers. A beautiful symbol for a country.

Menno, from the Netherlands, is an expert in unearthing fascinating facts and unraveling knowledge. At Top10HQ, he delves into the depths of various subjects, from science to history, bringing readers well-researched and intriguing insights.

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