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 Jeff Atwood: alt text Troggy: alt text

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.

  • 73
    way too stupid is just the beginning... – Troggy Jan 28 '10 at 17:59
  • 33
    Why are those unicorns and not ponies? I'd +1 this if they were ponies. – John Rudy Jan 28 '10 at 18:02
  • 59
    Unicorns are magical ponies. – user27414 Jan 28 '10 at 18:06
  • 72
    Incredibly stupid. But totally worth it just for the big purple Spolsky avatar. – Shog9 Jan 28 '10 at 18:06
  • 25
    I believe it was TheTXI who said something like "Unicorns are the magical weaponized form of ponies". – gnostradamus Jan 28 '10 at 18:15
  • 32
    If this doesn't bring TheTXI back, nothing will. – user27414 Jan 28 '10 at 18:18
  • 26
    @Pekka: I have a unicorn farm at home and a motion-controllable camera. – balpha Jan 28 '10 at 19:53
  • 11
    You have way too much time on your hands.... – Michael Kniskern Jan 28 '10 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! – Michael Stum Jan 28 '10 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 Jan 29 '10 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 Jan 30 '10 at 19:47
  • 9
    @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 Feb 1 '10 at 7:45
  • 6
    @balpha: I guess he changed his mind later: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19478/the-many-memes-of-meta/…. – mmyers Feb 1 '10 at 14:24
  • 24
    This is my most favorite question of all time. Thank you. – Jarrod Dixon Feb 3 '10 at 7:25
  • 4
    OMG! This is absolutely amazing! I'd love to use these avatars somehow on cornify.com – Cornify Feb 9 '10 at 14:10

43 Answers 43



HMS Unicorn landing!

  • Awesome @balpha, thanks! – Sean Vieira Feb 2 '10 at 19:21

A Classic... and April is still like 2 months away!

My little pwn3y (er.. unicorn)

Just like Skittles... Touch the rainbow!

alt text


Love it, love it, love it! This is pure amazing! Can I showcase these unicorn avatars on cornify.com?

Sparkles and rainbow hugs to you!

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Thanks! Sure you can -- I'd be honored! Let's just hope the Unicornify App Engine quotas survive the Cornify crowds :) – balpha Feb 9 '10 at 18:11

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 Jan 31 '10 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 Feb 1 '10 at 0:16
  • re your edit: Thanks :) Yes, tails are definitely on the list for the next version. – balpha Feb 2 '10 at 10:28

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

alt text

  • "Too bad you can't add it dynamically as a picture" -- what do you mean by that? – balpha Mar 22 '10 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 Mar 22 '10 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 Mar 22 '10 at 19:20
  • @balpha, nope, but it's reaaaaaally slow at work today. – juan Mar 22 '10 at 19:44

My unicorn is a punk:

alt text


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.

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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.

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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.

| improve this answer | |
  • Plugin is now in the WordPress repository. Just search for "Unicornify". – Otto Apr 2 '10 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


Now I love my unicorn..

enter image description here

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

Unicorns need double rainbows!!!!

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

Mine's leaping


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