#11
It is very mammalian to fear reptiles, it's part of humanity. That's why dragons were these huge, super reptiles with wings and fire.
To expand on that, the wings were like a bird of prey, and the face and nose were like a snake, and I think that any intelligent human would fear fire too.

So putting all of those together creates a supercreature of fear.

As for the Chinese and Japanese, they saw the dragon as a symbol of power, they worshipped it hoping that they too would receive its power.
 

CelticBard

Historum Emeritas
Aug 2006
758
Roving
#12
kahn said:
The chinese love dragons. I wonder why they would have made up such a creature. It makes you think that perhaps they were real?

I doubt any of them could fly though. Those would have to be some massive wings to support a 2 ton dragon.
Real? Think about what you're saying, if it were real wouldn't it be in the fossil record? Maybe bigfoot and Nessie are real too, why not the chupacabras either?
 
Jun 2006
111
Charleston
#13
CelticBard said:
kahn said:
The chinese love dragons. I wonder why they would have made up such a creature. It makes you think that perhaps they were real?

I doubt any of them could fly though. Those would have to be some massive wings to support a 2 ton dragon.
Real? Think about what you're saying, if it were real wouldn't it be in the fossil record? Maybe bigfoot and Nessie are real too, why not the chupacabras either?
Well think about bioluminescence. Fish, and aquatic creatures can create their own LIGHT ! That boggles my mind way more than a creature being about to spit fire.
 
Aug 2006
15
WA
#14
Our word Dragon comes direct from Drakon, Greek for Serpent, or so says my dictionary. And a host of essays and so forth I've read.
My studied conclusion is that dragons were shooting stars and/or comets. Some large meteors are rather spectacular as they course overhead, definitely look like fiery serpents. If you're lucky, you can even hear them hiss, due to a process called electrophonics. I witnessed the meteor of '89? '90? over Medford, Oregon, heading west. Very large, very spooky. I stood in the yard at just the right spot to hear it sizzle. I'd call it a dragon.
 
Sep 2006
105
Hellas-Greece
#15
The Greek words are drakon, drakos, and drakontas. Your dictionary is correct.

I also believe that the people had found dinosaur skeletons and then, it was easy to imagine and make tales of such a creature.
 
#16
Re: Where did fire breathing dragons come from?

I found this quote on the net:

"Most experts on mythology and folklore argue that legends of dragons are based upon ordinary snakes and similar creatures coupled with common psychological fears amongst disparate groups of humans."
 

Edgewaters

Ad Honorem
Jul 2007
9,098
Canada
#17
Re: Where did fire breathing dragons come from?

A lot of mythological/medieval type stories have instances where knights went out to fight and kill a dragon or sea monster or something. Where did these stories come from? We know fire breathing dragons don't exist, so why are there so many "fairy" tales about them?

Did people go out looking for komodo dragons or alligators and just embelish a little bit on their size and fire breathing abilities?
The majority of folk tales involving "dragons" are actually about giant "serpents" or "worms" (wyrms). There are just a rare few involving fire-breathing flying lizard-things; Beowulf's third adventure, for instance.
 

Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
#18
Re: Where did fire breathing dragons come from?

The short answer lies in 'solar myths'. The cycle of the moon slaying the sun, the rebirth of every day dying in childbirth to be reborn again. As one scholar expressed it: "All stories are solar myths". A good heavy dose of Joseph Campbell's writings on myth might be a different kind of history but it is a history of a kind. And a most rewarding way to see. Enjoy!!
 
Apr 2008
27
Seattle
#19
Re: Where did fire breathing dragons come from?

Or perhaps there really were fire breathing dragons. I saw a discovery channel special on dragons, and it explained how they would be able to breath fire and how they were able to fly. I believe it was a flamable gas that they built up that made them lighter and have the ability to breath fire. But I saw this a while ago and have forgotten the details.
I thing you might confusing them with politicians.:) :rolleyes: :) :rolleyes:
 
May 2008
255
Dixie
#20
Re: Where did fire breathing dragons come from?

There were sea dragons at one time. The Bible talks about them and even describes them as breathing fire. Job 41:19-21 is describing an aquatic beast called Leviathan. It says that "out of his mouth go flaming torches, sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils come forth smoke." Verse 21 says that "his breath kindles coals and a flame comes forth from his mouth." Certain kinds of dragons did exist at one time.

That proves it no more than the Chinese legends do.


I think the most likely explanation is that there used to be large reptiles -- not dinosaurs, but actual large reptiles similar to the komodo dragon -- and that they were hunted. The "fire" bit is probably just made up. There have been large species of modern reptiles that were made extinct probably by ever-expanding human populations. This is incidentally the same way that we devastated the the various megafauna in North America, both "ancient" (mammoths) and relatively modern (the buffalo of the American plains).



Best way to find out would be to find a natural historian, or specifically a biologist who deals with reptiles, and ask them about larger reptile species of the past. Once they've identified potential species that could find their way into legends, you could go from there and figure out how the legends were transmitted from culture to culture.
 

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