Horses are one of the most majestic creatures in the animal kingdom. With their flowing manes, shiny coats, muscular bodies, and delicate prancing, many could easily be entered into a beauty competition.
Over the centuries, horses were used as a statement of power - the best-bred horses went to wealthy rulers and military heroes. In 1868, the first modern horse races were invented to showcase Thoroughbreds' speed, agility, and strength. Races weren't just about the horse's physical ability, though. A beautiful horse was (and still is) considered one of its greatest assets.
Although you may have heard of Palominos and other beautiful horse breeds, prepare to meet the world's most stunning horse. The Akhal-Teke, or horse from heaven, is a breed from Turkmenistan with an almost mythical gold coat. The horses, which are the country's national animal, are extremely rare - there are only around 1,250 of them in the world.
In case you never get the chance to see one of these rare animals in real life, check out the photos of the Akhal-Teke here:
If you can't believe this is really what they look like, you're not alone. Some insist the photos must have been altered - there's no way a horse could have hair that looks like shimmering metal.
According to experts, the Akhal-Teke's fur coat derives its rare color from special proteins within each individual hair. The combination of light and the angle of the hair create the beautiful sheen and color you see.
You can see why everyone thinks this horse has no match. Not only is it gorgeous, but it's also graceful and has a lean, muscular physique.
Have you seen a horse more beautiful than this? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!