Nov 4, 2013 - fiction writing    No Comments

The Science of Dragons


Could dragons be real?

Where did the dragon legend come from?

Most people would probably say dinosaur bones, which is likely. Dragons are known  only in the West but also in the East, and share features–the ability to fly, supernatural qualities, and great strength.


Discover Magazine has an interesting blurb on its web site about the science of dragons, stating that “the natural world offers plenty of scientific basis for some of the creatures’ most fantastical features.”  And they are right.

Dragon claws?  Not unlike these are they?

A clawed allosaur hand

An allosaur hand

Dragon wings? Look at this picture.  It’s natural to mistake this for a dragon baby.

could be a baby dragon

Dragon head?  Take a look at this one.

A dino skull

A dino skull

Think about other mythical creatures.  Many logical (and silly) explanations of their origins exist.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

The cyclops is said to have been created by people who looked at this skull.

Can you guess what this is?  (Mouse over the pic to see the answer)


The kraken.  The giant octopus / squid thing that exists in the deep.  Well, it has been found and even filmed.  Here is a pic of the real thing, taken by a Japanese deep sub.


Even here in Japan, some people say that the legendary tengu (shown below) were created when people ran into shipwrecked Caucasian sailors who had hidden in forests.  (The shogun’s used to kill any foreigners who landed in Japan without permission.)

 Looking at this picture, can’t you imagine a sunburned sailor with a big nose?


by king


We can see or imagine a basis for many fairy tale creatures: The dragon a dinosaur.  The cyclops a mammoth.  Even the mighty big foot has been shown by DNA analysis to be only a bear.

But so what?  I still enjoy imagining Tolkein’s Smaug or Homer’s cyclops.  Speculating where they may have come from only makes me wonder even more.


Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!