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Dragons - fact or fiction?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
This topic was raised in the "Venting on hypocrisy" thread. Komodo dragons obviously exist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komodo_dragons. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to see a juvenile one on loan to the U.S.; I believe it was the same one that savaged Sharon Stone's ex-husband's white-tennis-shoe-clad foot. It's interesting that many cultures, e.g., the British and Chinese, have legends about dragons. So - are the Komodo dragons the last remnant of a formerly wide-spread species, or did some sort of dinosaur survive far past its contemporaries? Is "Nessie" a dinosaur, or a dragon? Could there have been a "fire-breathing" creature at some time?
post #2 of 17
I have some Dragons at my house right now. Bearded Dragons.
They are over 2 feet, but that isn't really all that big. There are also Water Dragons, Frilled Dragons, and Komodo Dragons (as you already listed).
post #3 of 17
Ooh, gorgeous siggy, Jamie Cat! And you're looking magnificent, as ever!

Well yes, I believe dragons were real, absolutely! We ALL know about Bilbo Baggins' adventures in dragon country, don't we?
post #4 of 17
Here be Dragons would be cool.
I dont think all the dinosaurs died out when they say they did. I think some version of them existed for a long time after. The fire breathing stuff came from them Dragons having very very bad breath After all , you cant give a dragon a breath mint.

Then later man found bones, I mean really could you see finding a T-REX head
couple of thousands years ago? hehe its big , and has lots and lots of sharp teeth.

if you want to get into different, Western dragons tend to have wings, how the chinese version does not. (flaying snake if you will)

But you know, old time man was much smater then we think , so maybe Dragons are real
post #5 of 17
I remember watching a documentary about mythical beasts (History Channel?). The documentary theorized that mythical beasts, like a cyclops, dragons, etc were all stemmed from our ancestors finding dinosaur and mammouth fossils and interpreting them into their stories.

So the thought is that people found fossils of some ancient beast and turned that into a dragon.
post #6 of 17
I believe in Dragons. But that is really just whimsy on my behalf. I like the idea of them, and I'd like to think they exist. Some of my favourite fantasy characters have been dragons
post #7 of 17
I don't believe in dragons in the mythical sense, but I fully believe that throughout the ages there has existed creatures that could easily be called dragons at first glance. Bruce mentioned wingless dragons. Imagine what the first person to have seen a giant moray eel would have thought. Some morays get incredibly huge, and may have been bigger once upon a time. And with the oceans ability to protect it's life a wee bit more than the surface, it's possible that some type of monosaur survived into human antiquity.

I'm sure the people that saw such creatures would have truly believed they were dragons. As for the fire breathing part, who knows. Maybe someone accidentally burned down their neighbors chariot house and that was the only explanation he could come up with to keep from paying damages
post #8 of 17
Personally I think the pteradactals and like are the closest to a "dragon". They ahve the long leather like wings, the long tail (some do) and neck/head that could easily be changed into a fatter dragon looking head.

And who knows if they could breath out something fire-like.

Nessie is a dinosaur - one of the plesiousaurous family. She's not a dragon at all. She's a water dinosaur like the whales, dolphins, etc. - not a land one.

Also, in the KJV of the Bible, its is mentioned in several places about the unicorn - so that is not a myth - it was a real live animal before man killed them all off. Later versions of the Bible changed the references to oxen or wild ox, because someone in one of the centuries thought that the unicorn was nothing more then a mythological creature. They didn't believe in the true words of the Bible.
post #9 of 17
I think that it's entirely possible that all myths have existed in one sense at one point in time. It's my opinion that myths have grown from things that were real. Of course, I'm sure that the original dragons didn't actually breathe flame, but.. you know, all stories get embellished a bit.

Vampires, werewolves, unicorns, pegasus.. I'd bet there was some root in reality somewhere at the point where the myths took off and became the great stories that they are today.
post #10 of 17
oh yea, according to some Nessie is big eel.
or so some teeth they found are related to a type of eel.
lol but i like the dinosaur idea better
post #11 of 17
I don't think that early civilized man, or prehistoric man, would have had the capability to visualize dragons from fossils. I go either with Mike's explanation - than some heretofore unknown, and possibly frightening, creature was seen and exaggerated into a dragon-type creature, or with the possibility that some animal we don't know about yet, and possible a descendant of dinosaurs that survived their extinction, did survive long enough for early historic or prehistoric man to catch a glimpse.

I lean toward the second hypothesis because so many cultures and races have some type of dragon-like creature in their stories and mythologies, and it's remarkable how similar they are. If the first hypothesis accounts for dragons, then I'd think they would be very different from one story to another or from one culture and race to another, simply because many animals only exist in parts of the world, and the scary animal that set it off wouldn't likely have been so much alike all over.

Wouldn't it be really cool if dragons still existed?
post #12 of 17
I am inclined to think, yes, they did exist. However, somewhere along the lines, tales got spun making dragons into something they were not.

Either that, or long long ago there was a naughty kid who didn't want to go to bed one night....
post #13 of 17
Well, according to the I-Max movie I saw about dinosaurs here's what I think. It's possible that the first "birds" looked very similar to dragons. They were kind of a cross between a lizard and a bird. However, I believe that they were quite small, so the big fire breathing type in The Hobbit was most likely an embellishment of things that we already knew.

If we look at nature and try to explain it I can how the modern dragon came about. It makes sense.

My favorite dragon story is about a hotel in Hong Kong. When the American investors came in and started drawing up plans for it they realized the Chinese architect had made the entire down stairs lobby out of clear glass. This was expensive, and the investors didn't want to do it. When they asked why it was clear glass the architect responded that it was for the dragons that lived in the mountains. They fly down once a day to play and drink in the bay. If the bottom part of the hotel was a solid wall they wouldn't be able to get to it. After the investors left and did some research they realized how important these dragons were to Chinese culture, and made the bottom part of the hotel out of clear glass.
post #14 of 17
I like that story.
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
I like that story.
So do I. I guess I believe in them enough to make the bottom part of a hotel out of clear glass a great expense!
post #16 of 17
Not the big, flying, knights on horse back to slay, type of dragons. But on Animal Planet had a special on dragons. They made a documentary set up as if they really existed. It was really neat.
post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by eburgess View Post
Not the big, flying, knights on horse back to slay, type of dragons. But on Animal Planet had a special on dragons. They made a documentary set up as if they really existed. It was really neat.
I think I saw that! It was quite good.
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