The Historicity of Dragons

I don’t believe in dinosaurs.  I know.  I’m weird.  But of all the things in the world to disbelieve, it’s really not all that important.  In one college class, my professor was showing us ancient depictions of dinosaurs in art, and I annoyed my friends by remarking on all the other possible (and impossible) animals those artists could have meant to be drawing.  After all, who says we were looking at an ancient Picasso?  What if it was some five-year-old kid trying to draw a cow, and we, with that lovable human imagination, mistook it for a ‘stegosaurus’?

I’m not denying the possibility that there could have been dinosaurs once.  I just find it improbable.  After all, if there were dinosaurs, why not dragons and unicorns and…

Now everything comes to a screeching halt.

Why, you ask?  (Or maybe you think I’m so crazy by now that you’re not even asking.)  Well, it’s because there ARE people who think dragons might have maybe sort of existed.

Needless to say, I’m not one of them.  (If I don’t believe in dinosaurs, why would I believe in dragons?)  However, there are people who have proposed theories about how there might have been creatures like dragons.  Peter Booker wrote an essay called “A New Candidate for Leviathan?” in which he compares an ancient crocodile, called Sarcosuchus imperator, and ancient depictions of dragons.  Both were said to have had tough scales, and both were rather large.

Apparently, too, there were some skeletons found in Africa of those giant crocodiles, which apparently had strange snouts…that Booker thought could have produced fire?  I mean, I suppose weirder things have happened.  But I don’t even believe in the Loch Ness Monster, and, as Philip Senter said in “Fire-breathing Dinosaurs?”, if the crocodile had been able to produce fire from its unusual snout, it probably would have burned itself.

And all this hypothesizing for a couple of mythological creatures!  I mean, why aren’t there any more of those giant crocodiles left?  Something that big is more likely to cause other animals to go extinct.  Dinosaurs are amusing, make adorable children’s movie characters, and that’s about it.  (I can hear the entire scientific community screaming at me right now, but the only science I ever liked was chemistry anyway.)

Alright, I suppose it’s potentially possible that there could have been some sort of exaggerated tale about some sort of wild animals (which as easily could have led to dinosaur myths as dragon ones).  I’ll grant the theorists that much.  After all, a lot of creature myths happen that way.

But if dragons were real, why not unicorns or mermaids or an animal with a chicken head and duck feet?  (For more information on that last one, check out the video “Bushes of Love” by Bad Lip Reading on YouTube.)

11 thoughts on “The Historicity of Dragons”

  1. To this very day, Kat. To this very day 😜 However, I like your angle on this topic. What are some myths about dinosaurs? Quite a lot, considering that we haven’t seen a living one. Most of what we claim dinosaurs were was pure speculation. The same could be said with dragons, how tales are passed down and we can only theorize what it might have been like by looking at what we know about the world around us now.
    That bit about the Leviathan caught my attention in particular because I had thought for the longest time that the Nile Super Croc was the closest thing we had to dragons and I’m glad someone else shares my views. Even the Bible talks about how it’s breath was hot, though not necessarily that things caught on fire, I don’t think. Look it up, it’s in Job.

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    1. I did look it up, but I suppose it could be interpreted as hot breath or fire (I got fire from the two articles above). The passage itself was rather vague. Hot breath does seem a bit more likely, though, doesn’t it?
      If you’re interested in this Leviathan-crocodile-dinosaur-dragon conspiracy, Google the two articles I mentioned. Both contain some errors/gross speculation, but I guess that’s what you have to expect in this sort of thing.

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  2. Interesting. But what about the archaeological evidence found where there are dinosaur footprints walking alongside humans? You can see a whole exhibit about it at the Creation museum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How do you know that the footprints aren’t really just natural depressions in the earth that happen to look similar? Or maybe somebody made fake dinosaur prints?

      I’m obstinate. I know.

      As I said, I don’t deny the possibility that there could have been dinosaurs. I’m not God, so who am I to say there can’t have been dinosaurs? I just don’t believe that there ever were any, and wouldn’t that make dinosaurs the greatest prank in the history of the world?

      What’s your position on the dinos?

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      1. Cool! I think it’s such a fun topic, because there are so many varying opinions on it. Most people agree that dragons are a myth, but dinosaurs are another story, which is something I find interesting because the basic principle is the same: big reptile.

        But then all the bones and fossils lead to another question. How do we know we’re putting them together right? What if the bones we thought were dinosaur bones were really dragons? Or some other entirely unknown creature? (Or what if the bones have been there since the beginning of time as a joke on all of humanity? 🙂 )

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      2. I think I heard somewhere that the idea of dragons comes from dinosaurs. But I could be wrong. On a different note, with school FINALLY winding down, I hope to get back to my story. Hopefully I can do some writing while helping my mom at a craft fair tomorrow.

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      3. Hm. That’s interesting and very plausible. Maybe I’ll have to look it up.

        Congrats on making it through a year of grad school, and best of luck on your writing! I look forward to hearing more about it.

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      4. Thank you. I didn’t get anything written today at the fair. It was so cold in the barn. But I daydreamed scenes in my head.

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