Dragons. The word evokes different images–from the serpent-like creature of Asia to the winged giant of Europe, from wisdom and wealth bringer to knights battling fierce beasts. Every fantasy lover knows of the creature as do religious people. While fantasy lovers have longed to ride a dragon or have fought an imaginary one in a role-playing game, religious minded people either wish to avoid dragons or seek them for guidance. The question remains, “Did dragons really exist?”
Over the next several months, I’ll explore different aspects of this question. Each month, I’ll have a post exploring in more detail one of the points from today’s blog. Make sure you check back in to find out more information on this need-to-know question.
How do we go about answering a question when there doesn’t seem to be any proof that the creatures exist today? The most obvious answer to that is to look back at history. No, there are no fossil records of dragons per se, but the creatures have left their mark elsewhere.
Dragons across cultures
It seems as if every single culture has a dragon myth or story. Asia is the most prevalent with the year of the dragon and their New Year celebrations with snake-like dragons weaving their way down streets. Europe, however, took a different twist on dragons. They showcase large winged creatures that breathe fire and hoard gold.
If something exists across cultures, then generally there is a grain of truth in the tale. It’s these cross-cultural connections that often intrigue me. I’ve questioned the theme of a day of the dead style celebration that spans from Mexico, to Taiwan, to England. Dragons span cultural barriers; therefore they represent some grain of truth. Could dragons have really existed? Maybe.
Dragons in Legends
From King Arthur to Beowolf to St. George and the Dragon legends tell of dragons and people. Just as dragons span cultures, their tales span countries. The website draconika has a list of legends from England, France, Austria, Japan, and others. The Week lists legends from India, Greece, Babylon, Australia, and Peru. However, generally where there are legends, there’s a grain of truth.
What really inspired the story of Daniel killing the dragon god of Babylon or St. George slaying a dragon? Were there creatures that our dragon tales come from? Over the course of the next few months, I’ll explore these and more.
Dinosaurs: Dragons in disguise?
The fossil records show creatures of varying sizes some with bird-like qualities some without. Kids have been fascinated with them ever since the first skeleton was constructed in New Jersey. The question remains, could dinosaurs really be dragons?
With their large build, their lizard-like body, and some with the ability to fly, just maybe some dinosaurs were dragons. I’ll delve more deeply into this theory in a couple of months.
One of the issues that seem to make people think dragons couldn’t have existed is the claim that they blew fire. However, as we’ll explore in more detail later, other animals have many of the traits given to dragons, including fire.
Are you excited to explore more about the possibility of dragons existing? Every second Monday, I’ll delve deeper into this question. Next month, I’ll look into the Celtic dragons. In the meantime, enjoy a nice dragon ride by reading your favorite dragon fantasy, or explore Dragon’s Future if you haven’t read it already.