Dragons have always been some of the most fascinating creatures that we often see in movies, TV shows, games, and other types of literature. That is because they are captivating due to their size and ability to fly and breathe fire. And if you look at mythologies and legends, dragons have always been a part of the history of human history. So, in that regard, are dragons real, and do they exist?
Dragons exist in today’s world in the form of different types of creatures that resemble dragons or are even named dragons. However, the type of dragon that we often read or watch in different forms of literature does not exist and most likely never existed at any point in our history.
There is no other creature in the world more fascinating than the dragon. However, this comes as a surprise because, as beloved as dragons may be, the type of dragon that people love likely never even existed in the first place. This is interesting because of how dragons have always been a part of human history, as can be seen in the literature. And that is what we are here to talk more about.
Are Dragons Real?
We often see them in different movies, TV shows, and video games. Of course, we have also read them in different forms of literature written recently or even thousands of years ago. And the most amazing part is that every culture has something written about these creatures to the point that one may think that it is not a coincidence.
Yes, we are talking about dragons here. Dragons have always been a part of human history because of how different forms of literature found all over the world describe creatures that are similar to how we describe the common dragon. Of course, we are talking about a large and scaly lizard that may be capable of breathing fire or of flight, depending on the literature.
Regardless of what kind of dragon we are talking about, the fact of the matter is that we cannot get enough of these creatures. Almost any type of literature that is related to fantasy has a dragon in it. Of course, the world got to see a lot of dragon action in the worldwide hit series phenomenon Game of Thrones.
As often as we would like to say that dragons are mythological, what you need to know is that we do have real dragons in our world today. However, these dragons are not the kind of dragons that you see in movies or read in books. Still, they are dragons in some way, such as their appearance.
The Komodo Dragon is probably the closest dragon to the ‘real’ dragons in terms of size. That is because Komodo Dragons are the largest lizards in the world, as these animals can easily topple 300 pounds in weight.
Like the dragons that we see or read about, Komodo Dragons are large scaly lizards that walk on their fours. They are also large enough to eat humans and other animals that are bigger than humans. However, as large as they may be, they neither breathe fire nor fly.
Then there is the crocodile, which is an even larger specimen compared to the Komodo Dragon. Crocodiles are reptiles but are not lizards. However, they are more capable of eating humans and other bigger animals compared to the Komodo Dragon because of their sheer size.
The largest species of crocodiles are the Saltwater Crocodiles. However, the Nile Crocodile also comes close in terms of size. Like dragons, crocodiles are large creatures that are capable of easily causing havoc when hungry and on the hunt.
A good example of a dragon that is not even close to how we describe a ‘real ’dragon is the Ruby Seadragon, which is just actually a fish. The reason why Ruby Seadragons are called dragons is that they actually look like dragons due to their elongated snout and long bodies. However, these creatures are fish and are not even lizards.
Another good example of an animal that looks like a dragon but is far from it is the Blue Dragon Sea Slug. As the name suggests, this is a sea slug that floats on the ocean surface. The reason why they are called dragons is that they look like flying dragons that have their wings spread out.
Then there is the Pink Dragon Millipede, which is similar to how we describe Asian dragons in the sense that they have very long bodies that are similar to that of a snake. Pink Dragon Millipedes can be found in Thailand and are still quite new because they were discovered only in 2007.
All that said, there are no ‘real’ dragons in today’s world, but we do have creatures that resemble dragons in their own way. The closest of which, as mentioned, is the Komodo Dragon because of the fact that it is a massive lizard. However, Komodo Dragons are probably closer to dinosaurs than they are to dragons.
Are Dragons With Wings Real?
When we talk about dragons in literature, we often describe them as having wings that they use for flight. As massive as these dragons are, it seems odd that they can fly as that may be something that is difficult to explain using physics. Still, the dragons of literature have wings. But do we actually have dragons that have wings?
Yes, there are creatures that we call Flying Dragons. However, you should temper your expectations as early as now because these are not the same flying dragons that you see in movies or read in books.
Flying Dragons are small lizards that are about the size of a person’s hand. They can be found in Southeast Asia.
The reason why these lizards are called Flying Lizards is that they are capable of spreading their “wings,” which is a thin yet wide layer of skin that is capable of allowing them to glide through the air when they are jumping from one tree to another.
So, in short, Flying Dragons are not ‘real’ flying dragons per se. They are not the dragons with wings that we often see in movies and read in books, but they are still winged dragons in their own unique way.
Are Fire Breathing Dragons Real
Another characteristic that is often used to describe the dragons we see in movies or read in books is the ability to breathe fire. This basically means that these creatures can spew streams of fire from their mouth and are capable of burning people and cities to the ground with this terrifying ability. But are fire-breathing dragons actually real?
What you should know as early as now is that there is no documented animal in the history of the world that is capable of breathing fire. We are not only talking about lizards here because we are talking about any animal. This means that there are no fire-breathing dragons.
However, there is an animal that comes closest to what we call “fire breathing.” Surprisingly, this is actually a beetle called the Bombardier Beetle.
The Bombardier Beetle does not actually breathe fire, but it releases chemicals that are capable of creating a small explosion that it uses to repel predators. This beetle releases chemicals that react with one another in a way that is actually quite unique that it is the closest thing we have to “fire breathing.” Still, this is not the same as how we describe fire breathing as far as dragons are concerned.
Where Can Dragons Be Found?
If we are talking about the dragons that we read in literature, then these dragons are basically found everywhere, depending on the type of literature.
Asian works of literature such as the ones we read in different Chinese and Japanese legends often describe dragons to have snake-like bodies that are long but have legs. Unlike conventional dragons, these dragons are not capable of flight.
Meanwhile, western dragons originate in European countries. These dragons can be read in all sorts of European literature and different mythologies such as Greek, Roman, and Norse mythologies. Even the bible mentions dragons quite a few times. Then there are different tales and legends of knights slaying dragons in England and the old Germanic regions all over Europe.
However, if we are talking about real-life dragons, most of them can be found in tropical regions in Southeast Asia. The Komodo Dragon can be found in the Komodo Islands in Indonesia. This is the only place where they can be found naturally. Meanwhile, Flying Dragons are found in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand.
Did ‘Real’ Dragons Exist In The Past?
While the ‘real’ dragons that we often watch and read do not exist in the world we live in today, did they ever exist in the past?
Chances point to the likelihood that ‘real’ flying and fire-breathing dragons never existed. That is because there are no actual fossil records that point to the possibility that these creatures ever existed in the past. All we have about dragons are based on the stories and legends that never even had any historical evidence that suggests that dragons existed during the time of the authors of these pieces of literature.
So, if dragons never existed, where did the people of the past get the idea that they existed?
Plenty of different people can mistake certain creatures and describe them to be bigger and more fantastic than they ever were. Think about this. If a rumor can get changed and altered every time it is passed from one person to another, the same can be said about the stories of the past.
Due to the lack of any scientific method or apparatus that people could have used thousands of years ago, they could not properly describe the different large creatures that they saw or the fossils or bones that they found.
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Because Komodo Dragons are isolated in the Komodo Islands, the most probable culprit that made ancient people think that dragons existed are crocodiles and alligators. If you describe what a croc or a gator looks like to another person but add a bit of flair to the story, anyone can easily misinterpret that creature to be a dragon. Meanwhile, large snakes in China and Japan could have also been easily mistaken to be dragons.
However, there are those that suggest that the ancient people of Europe and Asia could have also dug up dinosaur bones that were larger than the bones of any animal they knew. And because they did not have any tools or methods that they could have used to identify such fossilized bones, they might have concluded that these used to be the bones of dragons.
All that said, dragons could have never existed in the past. But the people that lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago could have easily mistaken certain animals and fossilized bones as dragons. Still, as to how they describe dragons to be large lizards that are capable of flight and can actually breathe fire, such stories seem to be too fantastic and scientifically impossible to be real.