“Have dragons actually existed?”

A dragon is a reptile-like legendary creature that appears in the folklore of many cultures worldwide. Beliefs about dragons vary considerably through regions, but dragons in western cultures since the High Middle Ages have often been depicted as winged, horned, four-legged, and capable of breathing fire. Dragons in eastern cultures are usually depicted as wingless, four-legged, serpentine creatures with above-average intelligence. Commonalities between dragons’ traits are often a hybridization of feline, avian, and reptilian features. Scholars believe huge extinct or migrating crocodiles bear the closest resemblance, especially when encountered in forested or swampy areas, and are most likely the template of modern Oriental dragon imagery.

The word dragon entered the English language in the early 13th century from Old French dragon, which in turn comes from Latin: draconem (nominative draco) meaning “huge serpent, dragon”, from Ancient Greek δράκων, drákōn (genitive δράκοντος, drákontos) “serpent, giant seafish”. The Greek and Latin term referred to any great serpent, not necessarily mythological. The Greek word δράκων is most likely derived from the Greek verb δέρκομαι (dérkomai) meaning “I see”, the aorist form of which is ἔδρακον (édrakon). This is thought to have referred to something with a “deadly glance,” or unusually bright or “sharp” eyes, or because a snake’s eyes appear to be always open; each eye actually sees through a big transparent scale in its eyelids, which are permanently shut. The Greek word probably derives from an Indo-European base *derḱ- meaning “to see”; the Sanskrit root दृश् (dr̥ś-) also means “to see”.

Draconic creatures appear in virtually all cultures around the globe and the earliest attested reports of draconic creatures resemble giant snakes. Draconic creatures are first described in the mythologies of the ancient Near East and appear in ancient Mesopotamian art and literature. Stories about storm-gods slaying giant serpents occur throughout nearly all Indo-European and Near Eastern mythologies. Famous prototypical draconic creatures include the mušḫuššu of ancient Mesopotamia; Apep in Egyptian mythology; Vṛtra in the Rigveda; the Leviathan in the Hebrew Bible; Grand’Goule in the Poitou region in France; Python, Ladon, Wyvern, Kulshedra in Albanian Mythology and the Lernaean Hydra in Greek mythology; Jörmungandr, Níðhöggr, and Fafnir in Norse mythology; and the dragon from Beowulf.

Nonetheless, scholars dispute where the idea of a dragon originates from and a wide variety of hypotheses have been proposed.

In his book An Instinct for Dragons (2000), David E. Jones (anthropologist) suggests a hypothesis that humans, like monkeys, have inherited instinctive reactions to snakes, large cats, and birds of prey. He cites a study which found that approximately 39 people in a hundred are afraid of snakes and notes that fear of snakes is especially prominent in children, even in areas where snakes are rare. The earliest attested dragons all resemble snakes or have snakelike attributes. Jones therefore concludes that dragons appear in nearly all cultures because humans have an innate fear of snakes and other animals that were major predators of humans’ primate ancestors. Dragons are usually said to reside in “dank caves, deep pools, wild mountain reaches, sea bottoms, haunted forests”, all places which would have been fraught with danger for early human ancestors.

In her book The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times (2000), Adrienne Mayor argues that some stories of dragons may have been inspired by ancient discoveries of fossils belonging to dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. She argues that the dragon lore of northern India may have been inspired by “observations of oversized, extraordinary bones in the fossilbeds of the Siwalik Hills below the Himalayas” and that ancient Greek artistic depictions of the Monster of Troy may have been influenced by fossils of Samotherium, an extinct species of giraffe whose fossils are common in the Mediterranean region. In China, a region where fossils of large prehistoric animals are common, these remains are frequently identified as “dragon bones” and are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Mayor, however, is careful to point out that not all stories of dragons and giants are inspired by fossils and notes that Scandinavia has many stories of dragons and sea monsters, but has long “been considered barren of large fossils.” In one of her later books, she states that “Many dragon images around the world were based on folk knowledge or exaggerations of living reptiles, such as Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, iguanas, alligators, or, in California, alligator lizards, though this still fails to account for the Scandinavian legends, as no such animals (historical or otherwise) have ever been found in this region.”

493 Comments

  1. If all lions were killed in my generation, and if photo editing continued to progress, then the generation that had never seen a lion could possibly stop believing in them and call them myths and out-dated science. We have books describing lions and their biology, but so did old generations of dragons. We’ve since lost or dismissed those accounts of dragons similar to how future generations could lose or dismiss todays accounts of lions.

    It’s sad to me that our history is being hidden from us because those who want total control don’t want us to know who we are and what our purpose is.

    Human arrogance and fear of being ridiculed as uneducated will keep fearful minds from considering what once was real because they can’t see it themselves.

  2. Didn’t you know that china found a whole dragon fossil.

  3. It's fake our ancestors had the fear of lions eagles and snakes if you combine it it will make a dragon even scientists didn't figure it out a man that was a idk i forgot he was an expert then he told this to scientists give credits to liitle kitty and her owner fun kidz

  4. And it is impossible that an animal can breathe 🔥

  5. It’s all dragon, but I didn’t film it

  6. Someone found dinosour bones fossils or something and let their imagination run wild most likely

  7. No evidence no belief this is science

  8. Oh they exist….they steal my myrrh…..

  9. its possible that dragons are actually aliens that came to earth during medieval times (probably not but you never know)

  10. is it real that someone found a dragon fossil in china that is still whole

  11. I wish dragons really existed. Imagine how beautiful they'd be in real life

  12. What if dragons are aliens? We always view aliens as creatures that resemble humans, however, we don't really know what aliens look like, and it's very strange that a mythological creature is referenced across the world in nearly every part across history, yet we find no bones outside of maybe dinosaur fossils, and they don't resemble the same shape that several dragons do.

    Allosaurus have hollow bones and we have their fossils, a lot of mythological creatures are region-specific and can be chalked up to a tall tale, but dragons are mysteriously out of the picture for both of these.

  13. They actually found a fossil in China at 60 ft long

  14. It's on YouTube, so it's true.

  15. dragons will return in peace so pls dont haunt them

  16. As dinosaurs bone was mistaken for a dragon

  17. They used to call big lizards dragons, like the Comodo dragon! So…

  18. Every civilization has some dragon lore, which is puzzling. Every one of them.

  19. Why not? New archaeological discoveries are being discovered everyday. How are the ancient manuscripts and hieroglyphics from all over the world to be explained then. Mysteries do remain on this earth until proven in science. Open minds help us to expand out thinking. Until you can prove they didn't exist..well..then I believe they did.

  20. Dragons probably have some ancient un discovered land that where the dead rest

  21. rhey found the fossile it was big not small

  22. Yeah Bryan Danielson is existed so I confirmed that!

  23. People claim nowadays that such events happen way before our time here on earth … but in reality, we dont know SHIT

  24. Actually dragons have wings ok and wing bones dont last long so dinasuars coud of been dragons also siantists only have 50 persent of the dinasuar bones

  25. Well yeah, it’s history and they got all extinct due to the dance of dragons thanks to the Targaryen civil war, even though the fossils were never found and somehow magically disappeared after Daenerys ransack king’s landing, Bran must’ve discarded it or something.

  26. Dragons did existed in the early days they were called leviathan,and the last was killed by a black knight with the power of GOD, Bible history

  27. They either existed or are confused by dinosaur fossil

  28. If theoretically you have an organ that can produce that amount of gas just to shoot fire, I think that's a waste of energy. Flight alone consumes a lot of energy

  29. I think they still live. just hidden from us

  30. People also say ghost exist but did you meet any ghost or People also say Phoenix also exist did anyone in thies world see them 😂😂😂

  31. Chinese zodiac has all real animals for each year. The dragon is the only one that’s extinct.

  32. Why not? Is it more possible a trex than a dragon? All myths around the world speak about dragons

  33. Dragons really did exist and they are still alive 🔥We have only discovered 65% of The world not including the ocean which I believe is a den of Monsters, some areas are still uncharted.

  34. YES!- just like the pterodactyl, we DO have hollow bird-like bones from other eras, so my "missing link" theory on this is one is simple- SIZE and I'm more willing to believe that just like their near ancient dinosaur cousins, that dragons probably spent more time of their life at sea, which means death at sea, and better absorption back from the dark residuals of the clay from whence they rose so long ago…

  35. Dragons actually do exist, they just doesn't look like in the movies and instead of fire they produce deadly poison.

  36. For me dragons are exist, because how they made the word dragon without the dragon, so for me dragons are exist

  37. If dragons existed, snakes exist. Snakes are dragons, just without wings or legs, so they are the weakest form of dragons.

  38. Your answers awaits you….I just posted my new video, part one of “OUR DRAGON EARTH” Congrats to who ever sees this comment. I think you will be quite surprised. 😅

  39. As much as I love Dragons I can't think of a single credible source to prove there existians.

  40. Why you never seen a dragon?
    Because its a spirit the dragon was the devil and he causes more destruction than you think.

  41. Exactly as nowadays people used to dig in the past, and exactly as nowadays dinosaurs fossils could have been found from them. At the time the only way to solve these kind of scientific problem was to theorize with uncertain proofs and that’s probably the reason for the existence of dragons in the world in various forms and shapes

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