Horses are easily considered among the most beautiful animals on the face of the Earth. But there is one horse that rises above all others in the quest to be the most beautiful. This unbelievably gorgeous euine is called an Akhal-Teke and it is one of the most rare creatures on the planet. It possesses a burnished metallic gleam to it's hair.

Akhal-Teke
Akhal-Teke

Image via Lovely Paws

It isn't just the illuminated appearance that makes these horses so special. They also have beautiful lines, slender legs, and dainty hooves. They are know for their speed, endurance, and intelligence. Thought to be one of the oldest breeds of horses they are particularly adapted to living in severe climatic conditions.

Akhal-Teke
Akhal-Teke

Image via Lovely Paws

The horses, nicknamed golden horses and known in China as "horses of heaven" are so incredibly rare that there are only about 1,200 and 6,600 in existence. They are considered a threatened species.

Akhal-Teke
Akhal-Teke

Image via Lovely Paws

This breed comes from Turkmenistan and those amazingly glossy coats are created by a unique structural pattern to the proteins in the hair. They are arranged so that when light hits the proteins they reflect the light in the same way that metals do.

Akhal-Teke
Akhal-Teke

Image via Lovely Paws

The Akhal-Teke is primarily known for its golden or palomino coat color. Other recognized colors include bay, black, chestnut, and gray. There is a possibility that this breed is a distant descendant of the Arabian horse.

Akhal-Teke
Akhal-Teke

Image via Lovely Paws

The shiny horse has been commemorated by the postage stamps of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and the USSR (1968). They are also a popular subject for statues erected in the region. The 50 manat note features the horse as well.

Turkmenistan 50 Manat Note
Turkmenistan 50 Manat Note

Image via Wikipedia

Because there are so few of these horses in existence you are unlikely to ever see one in person. They all may seem more like they belong in a Harry Potter story, but they are real.

Sources: Honest to Paws, Lovely Animals, Wikipedia

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