According to the World Wildlife Fund, the illegal killing of rhinos has increased by 9, 000% over the past decade, and more than 1, 000 animals are killed a year. Purely for the sake of their horns, which are considered so valuable that adventurers are willing to take any risk - it will pay off. But what if we tried to flood the underground drug and potion market with fake horns and thereby bring it down?
The idea is simple - rhino horns are almost entirely composed of the substance keratin, which is found in normal hair. There is no proven healing power in it, you can just as well sweep the floor in a hairdresser and cook a "potion" with identical organoleptic properties. And if the alchemist does not want to buy a dubious crushed crumb, you can print the "horn" on a 3D printer.
By throwing such horns on the market, you can drive down commodity prices and make hunting real rhinos less cost-effective. Plus, more people will be able to buy the coveted potion with a placebo effect, and it will cease to be a scarce commodity. And if someone recognizes a fake, then it is not a sin to plant misinformation, provoking trade wars between poaching suppliers and their customers.
But this plan has a colossal flaw. Nowadays, express DNA analysis is no longer a curiosity, and if the merchants have reason to spend so much money on checking the horns, then the fake will be revealed quickly. And then the opposite effect will happen - keratin fakes will be sold to a gray mass of buyers, and real rhino horns will become even more scarce, expensive and in demand.