Here Be Dragons? : The Myth and Magic

I’ve been thinking a great deal about dragons lately, as they are yet another one of those weird and wonderful mythic creatures who exist so prolifically across the globe. A quick search suggests some are still convinced dragons are real and do exist, but I’ll leave that to you to decide completely.

What I do want to consider is: could dragons be a case of where there’s smoke there’s fire (which kind of turns into a pun without meaning to, provided the dragon set the fire …)

Anyway, what I mean is that when you find different myths about dragons in so many different cultures, often in great detail and with great similarities, could this be a case where dragons did indeed exist, and simply because we don’t have modern versions flying around, or skeletons that are definitely dragon vs dinosaur, we wrap them into the myth category instead of extinct animals?

There’s the other thing: could dragons be a type of dinosaur? Personally, I hate to consider it since I have a pet-phobia about dinosaurs, but it kind of makes sense. Here you arrive with other prehistoric and ancient creatures who have, against the odds, seemingly survived. Deep sea creatures, sharks, alligators – they are indeed prehistoric. So why not other survivors, like say the Ogopogo in B.C. or the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland – couldn’t they be similar odd-ball survivors? And if dragons were / are a type of dinosaur, it would stand to reason that perhaps their skeletons already have been discovered, and they’ve simply been classified as a variety of dinosaur rather than anything else. There is so much we don’t know about the ancient denizens of this planet as it is: scientists are only now coming to accept dinosaurs may have been covered in feathers rather than the scaly reptiles they’re most often portrayed as.

Of course, with humans stomping all over the planet, flying over its surface, and diving deeper to the depths of the oceans all the time, is it conceivable that a creature as large as a dragon could have remained concealed for all this time? Any flying would certainly be picked up by airspace controllers, would it not?

That’s the thing about dragons: they’re just so darn big. While something like a werewolf or other man-size-or-smaller type creature could potentially have hidden or gone to ground to stay alive long enough, something the size of a whale is kind of hard to miss. And of course, something that big also needs a steady supply of food which consists of more than just sacrificed village-virgins, since you’ll run out of those soon enough, especially if they keep getting sacrificed.

So where is a dragon to hide? Or is this perhaps why we must accept they’re extinct now, but may have been around a few hundred years ago, just not post-Industrial Revolution? Could our medieval ancestors have really encountered dragons? Did St. George really slay one? Despite what some see as clear “evidence” throughout ancient writing, it’s possible we may never know for sure, since it’s so hard to distinguish between myth and fact when interpreting things like art remnants and folklore.

Is there a dragon hiding in your back garden? What do you think: complete myth, or some element of truth?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week.