Based on this comment, I have started building a unicorn avatar maker. It's still quite ugly, and the results aren't different enough yet, but this is what it looks like so far:

Question list / Joel's profile (removed the images from here to make this thing a little shorter).

Is this just way too stupid, or should I go on? If so, any suggestions? I'm thinking of things like backgrounds etc.


Update 2010/01/30: Version 0.2.

Now prettier and with legs, rainbows, and stuff. Examples:

Æther: alt text
(source: appspot.com)
Jeff Atwood: alt text
(source: appspot.com)
Troggy: alt text
(source: appspot.com)

Update 2010/01/31: Still version 0.2, the images are (almost) unchanged.

But now its on the App Engine for everyone, so go ahead pounding my quota:


Replace HASH by the md5 hash that gets given to gravatar (or any hexadecimal number, really). Don't just copy & paste the above into your browser. I thought this was clear, but looking at the access logs, it looks like I have to explain it.

The ?s=32 parameter can be omitted. The only legal values are 32 and 128; defaults to 32. Other parameters are ignored.

If you take this greasemonkey script and change the substitution line to

$(this).attr("src", $(this).attr("src").replace(/www\.gravatar\.com/, "unicornify.appspot.com"));

you'll see meta the way it has been looking to me for the past days: Full of unicorns.

If you just want to replace the identicons, i.e. those users that don't have their own gravatar set up, use this instead:

$(this).attr("src", $(this).attr("src").replace(/(www\.gravatar\.com\/avatar\/)([a-z0-9]*)\?s=(\d+)&d=identicon(.*)$/, "$1$2?s=$3&d=http%3A%2F%2Funicornify.appspot.com%2Favatar%2F$2%3fs%3d$3$4"));

Finally, if you just want to see it once, without any greasy monkeys: Paste this

javascript:(function(){$("img").attr("src", function(){return this.src.replace(/www\.gravatar\.com/, "unicornify.appspot.com")})})()

into your location bar.

Update 2010/02/14: Version 0.4

I will be deploying a new version later today. Some of you have showcased your own unicorn avatar below using a direct link to unicornify.appspot.com/avatar/.... These images will then show the updated version. If you want to preserve the historical record by keeping the old version, you'll have to host the image somewhere else, or at least change the image URL. The old ones will be available by passing an additional parameter v with the value 3, i.e.


No new old-version images will be created, but the previously created ones will still be available for a while.

Since the unicorns have their own website by now, this is probably the last update I'll be posting on this question.

Update 2010/04/01

Jeff finally rolled out the Unicorn avatars for us all to enjoy.

  • 76
    way too stupid is just the beginning...
    – Troggy
    Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 17:59
  • 35
    Why are those unicorns and not ponies? I'd +1 this if they were ponies.
    – John Rudy
    Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 18:02
  • 62
    Unicorns are magical ponies.
    – user27414
    Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 18:06
  • 74
    Incredibly stupid. But totally worth it just for the big purple Spolsky avatar.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 18:06
  • 27
    I believe it was TheTXI who said something like "Unicorns are the magical weaponized form of ponies". Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 18:15
  • 33
    If this doesn't bring TheTXI back, nothing will.
    – user27414
    Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 18:18
  • 28
    @Pekka: I have a unicorn farm at home and a motion-controllable camera.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 19:53
  • 12
    You have way too much time on your hands.... Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 20:25
  • 2
    @State I think you misspelled "Unicorn" as "Union" in your name... On another note: I just influenced the creation of something great and world-changing? AWESOME! Commented Jan 28, 2010 at 20:31
  • 3
    @Æther: It's way to unoptimized to generate on the fly yet. I'm thinking about precalculating the top so-and-so Meta users for a start.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jan 29, 2010 at 18:20
  • 3
    Hahahahahahahahaha! This is really, really great. I wish I could upvote it more than once. Jeff Attwood's Unicorn looks really perturbed, though! These Avatars are going to be more difficult than those from gravatar in terms of people wanting a different one - obviously, because faces and expressions come into play.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 30, 2010 at 19:47
  • 10
    @gnostradamus: I just discovered the TheTXI quote. You took it 100% out of context: " Many have mistakenly believed that unicorns are weaponized forms of the pony" -- meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6940
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 1, 2010 at 7:45
  • 6
    @balpha: I guess he changed his mind later: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19478/the-many-memes-of-meta/….
    – mmyers
    Commented Feb 1, 2010 at 14:24
  • 25
    This is my most favorite question of all time. Thank you. Commented Feb 3, 2010 at 7:25
  • 5
    OMG! This is absolutely amazing! I'd love to use these avatars somehow on cornify.com
    – Cornify
    Commented Feb 9, 2010 at 14:10

43 Answers 43


My spaced out hippy unicorn:

(source: appspot.com)

This is way fun. Unicornatars in Wordpress blog:


You need to add support for 48px for them to work out of the box-ish :))

  • Awesome! I have added 48 to the allowed sizes.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 3, 2010 at 8:51
  • Sick, no more blurriness :)) Commented Feb 3, 2010 at 11:59

My unicorn is a punk:

alt text


Frickin' awesome.

John Rudy's
(source: appspot.com)

  • I wish you had a tail.
    – Jay Riggs
    Commented Feb 1, 2010 at 22:36
  • Looks like none of the full-body ones have tails.
    – John Rudy
    Commented Feb 1, 2010 at 22:47
  • They're all full-body.The camera just doesn't show it all. And yes, they don't have tails yet.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 2, 2010 at 7:26
  • This is where it goes too far, haha. This is great. April Fool's Joke for sure.
    – dmanexe
    Commented Feb 2, 2010 at 19:18

Edit: @balpha - these are awesome btw.

One suggestion though... since you've gone to the trouble of adding a mane & legs, maybe give them a tail (same colour as the main, except a bit bigger & getting thicker towards the end)?

Also, because I think it's appropriate, I've added your greasemonkey script snippet to my Cornify button script, so now cornifying will unicornify the gravatar for the relevant question/answer too.

Damn it, my rainbow & unicorn hating workplace is blocking unicornify.appspot.com (a conspiracy to be sure).

Now I'm going to have to painstakingly type in my gravatar md5 hash into my mobile phone so I can see mine.

alconja's unicorn

  • 1
    Hopefully imgur isn't blocked for you.
    – random
    Commented Jan 31, 2010 at 23:14
  • @random You're my hero. I must admit, after I typed it in on my phone, I realised... what if I mistyped something? One character wrong & it could be someone else's unicorn I was admiring. I felt like I was cheating. :P
    – Alconja
    Commented Feb 1, 2010 at 0:16
  • re your edit: Thanks :) Yes, tails are definitely on the list for the next version.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 2, 2010 at 10:28

alt text

I find mine awesome <3
Thanks balpha, you rock!


next stackoverflow ad:

Do you have a problem with premature implementation? Wish you could satisfy your users but always release too early? We do to.


Ok, so earlier I was thinking these were screencaps:

From the mygotits full of unicorns: I'm thinking they're character screencaps from 'The Last Unicorn', or something similar. they're not exact; it might be some KMart/WalMart Direct-to-DVD thing. Don't forget that Jeff's child would be of that age.

Looks like I had that wrong.

Interesting, but I won't be keeping mine.


Wish I'd known earlier. I could have had a WordPress plugin for it out on April 1st.

Plugin will be available soon, I've already got the application in the repository.

  • Plugin is now in the WordPress repository. Just search for "Unicornify".
    – Otto
    Commented Apr 2, 2010 at 15:34

I have got at least this one advantage of having multiple email addresses! I HAVE SO MANY UNICORNS!!! Sure I have some more, but somehow I lost them :( Wherever you are, rest in piece my unicorns ;)

1 2 3

4 5 5


I love mine! Too bad you can't add it dynamically as a picture

alt text
(source: appspot.com)

  • "Too bad you can't add it dynamically as a picture" -- what do you mean by that?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 18:52
  • @balpha, that I want to add the URL and if you deploy a new version it will be updated (ie: I don't want to add the image to Gravatar)
    – juan
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 19:00
  • Ah, understood. Although the current version hasn't been changed for while. BTW, are you seriously telling me the whole unicorn business went by you unnoticed until today?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 19:20
  • @balpha, nope, but it's reaaaaaally slow at work today.
    – juan
    Commented Mar 22, 2010 at 19:44

Now I love my unicorn..

enter image description here

But is there away to get a DOUBLE rainbow!!!!

Unicorns need double rainbows!!!!


Now to patiently wait for caches to clean out so I can be unicornified!

Mine's leaping


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