Image via WikipediaA while ago I wrote a post about dragons. It was more or less meant as a joke, though it ended up as my most popular post !
Apparently a lot op people want to know if dragons really existed.
The facts that
- there is a lot written and told about dragons throughout history
- people are still interested in the subject and it takes part in many cultures
- apparently there is no scientific proof of their existence
makes me think of a few other concepts with similar characteristics : Ghosts/spirits, Gods & angels, Devils.
Now all the dragon stories must have come from somewhere ! Either there was something out there that made people talk about and make stories of, or it was just something out of our imagination.
For the first possibility let us ask three questions :
- did dragons exist ?
- did dragon-like animals exist ?
- did dragons or dragon-like animals co-exist with modern humans ?
As to the first question : I already said that there is no scientific proof that they existed.
For the second question : there is ample proof for the existence of dragon-like animals : a lot of our dinosaurs are ugly enough to be considered as dragon-like : triceratops, T-rex, etc…
The third question is also easily answered : even still now we have a lot of very ugly and scary animals : crocodiles, some really ugly fish, and obviously the komodo dragon.
Are these ugly and scary enough to lay at the origin of the dragon stories ?
The Genesis park does not think so and considers the dragon myths “…the evidence that dinosaurs and man were created together and have co-existed throughout history…” Although they present interesting material we all know that there is no sufficiently recent remain of a dinosaur for their theory to be true.
A cute alternative is that people saw comets as dragons, like a lot of people interpret natural phenomana as flying saucers.
My personal feeling is that human imagination and creativity is sufficient to put some things together in order to create dragons, gods, devils, ghosts and the like. People like to exagerate and since it is easier to speak about black and white than about all colours of grey they created extremely good, extremely bad, extremely ugly, extremely dangerous etc. imaginary creatures, dragons being the combination of extremely bad, extremely dangerous and extremely ugly. Note that chinese dragons are more benvolent
So what are the ingredients :
- Dangerous (fire, large predators, enemy tribes) : it can kill you, burn you and eat you, so it needs a big fire and over-developed fangs and claws. Also it posesses the fastes way of transportation, so that you cannot outrun it : it flies (altough the chinese ones do not). Oh yes, and it is huge !
- bad (murder, rape, robbery) : it kills for pleasure, steals your virgins and treasures, burns your towns etc… and it has to have a sort of human mind (it thinks and speaks).
- ugly (old or sick people or animals) : “accidented” cold, bony skin, and no soft feathered wings, but ugly bat wings ( a bat is a night animal, and night equals danger).