Real Dragons

Little Girl’s Dragon Wish Granted

I wish I had been paying attention last week when this story began. Apparently, a seven-year-old girl sent some scientists a letter, hoping that they could make her a live dragon. Needless to say, they couldn’t do it. However, they got a lot of attention by posting her letter and their apology on their blog. Now,  a week later, they’ve reached a compromise: a 3D-printed dragon that may not really breathe fire, but will make an awesome gift nonetheless.

You can take a look at the full story HERE.

If only everyone took children’s requests so seriously–the world would be filled with so much more wonder.

Personally, I’d have wanted MY new dragon a bit bigger…

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Categories: Dragons in the News, Real Dragons | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unicorn or Dragon? North Korea’s Mystery Lair

I just found this article online, reporting that the unicorn lair discovered in North Korea actually belonged to a creature with the body of a deer, the tail of a cow, and the head of a dragon—the “unicorn” idea was just an error of translation.

No, you didn’t read that wrong—the report of a unicorn’s den, resting place of ancient nobility’s special mount, really went out last week from the North Korean press (read the Fox news article here), only to have Korean scholars confess this week that they were mistaken—the inscription really gives the word for the mythical kirin beast.

So are they serious? The author of the Fox article calls the unicorn “symbolic,” saying that North Korea is gradually losing its “outlandish myths” that she accuses of being mere propaganda. Fewer people bothered to mention the correction to make it a dragon-headed creature. The Huffington Post dutifully reported the new facts and scholarly reports, but gives nothing but a final “Hmm” as a commentary.

Narwhals

Narwhals exist–are unicorns that much less likely? Image borrowed from Wikimedia Commons.

As interesting as it is to see North Korea claim the existence of strange creatures, I find it just as interesting that most of the world claims the opposite—that dragons, unicorns, and strange combinations thereof can’t have existed. I would like to know the why’s of either side—so, Korea, you found a lair… who says the legends are true and that a crazy combination like dragon-deer-cow could even be biologically possible? Did you find any physical evidence? Or you, skeptics—just because you have never seen a unicorn or a dragon doesn’t mean you ought to mock those who think they could have existed (Narwhals exist; why can’t unicorns?). On my part, I think the kirin is a far stretch, but I haven’t fully dismissed dragons and unicorns—I would just need a lot of good evidence instead of a lone rumor.

What do you think? Do North Korea’s findings come from delusions of old glory days of lore, or could the idea of unicorns be based in old reality? Is the kirin too much to believe? In your opinion, are dragons or unicorns more difficult to consider possible?

Categories: Eastern Tradition, Real Dragons | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Could Dragons Be Real?

Image of Dragon's World DVD cover

Find the DVD at your local library
Image borrowed from amazon.com

Last week, I watched the DVD of a 2004 Animal Planet special called Dragon’s World: A Fantasy Made Real. It was made to look like a real documentary, and the cover boasted that you too will believe. The graphics weren’t exactly convincing, but the story surely was.

Dragon’s World shares the story of several different dragons throughout history. Between computer-generated videos of those stories and descriptions of their biology is told the tale of a modern paleontologist who discovers that a supposed dragon hoax he is trying to debunk is no hoax at all—inarguable proof of dragons has been unearthed. It feels as serious and real as any other televised nature documentary, but there is one significant difference—this one never happened.

The show explained how dragons were built to fly, how they could have breathed fire, and why they declined as the human race advanced. They answered many other questions, too:  Why did dragons survive when dinosaurs did not? How did they reproduce? What varieties of dragons were there?

It was hard to know what was real by the time the show was over. The makers of the show say it is all a big what-if, but they put a great deal of effort into designing biological and historical support for the possibility of dragons. Why would they try to persuade their audience to believe in an animal they don’t actually think exists?

After watching the careful construction of a believable family of reptiles and listening to the narrator point out how strange of a coincidence it is that cultures from Europe to Asia to South America all came up with detailed dragon legends and histories, I have just one more question:

Having successfully shown that dragons could have existed, why do these people still insist that they did not?

You can find previews and more information about Dragon’s World: A Fantasy Made Real on Animal Planet’s website here: http://animal.discovery.com/convergence/dragons/. You can find more speculations on the existence of dragons here, on Dragon’s Crossing, sprinkled throughout future posts.

Do you think dragons could be real? What makes you skeptical? Where did all the myths come from?

Postscript—I apologize to those of you who were looking for a second post last week. I unexpectedly got sick, and had to postpone blogging over the weekend. Thank you for your patience!

Categories: Real Dragons | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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