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.)