Around the arena, people are celebrating the Chinese New Year and the begin to the Year of the Dragon. This got us questioning: Where did the myth of the dragon come from inside the first place? Scholars say that belief in dragons likely evolved independently in both Europe and China and perhaps within the Americas and Australia as well. How may want to this manifest? Many have speculated about which real-lifestyles animals inspired the primary legends. Here’s our run-down of the likeliest suspects.
Dinosaurs. Ancient humans may also have located dinosaur fossils and understandably misinterpreted them as the remains of dragons. Chang Qu, a Chinese historian from the 4th century B.C., mislabeled this sort of fossil in what’s now Sichuan Province. Take a study a fossilized stegosaurus, for instance, and you might see why: The giant beasts averaged 30 feet in length, were generally 14 ft tall and had been covered in armored plates and spikes for defense.
The Nile Crocodile. Native to sub-Saharan Africa, Nile crocodiles may additionally have had an extra sizeable range in historic times, possibly inspiring European dragon legends via swimming throughout the Mediterranean to Italy or Greece. They are among the most important of all crocodile species, with mature individuals attaining up to 18 ft in period—and not like most others, they’re able to a movement referred to as the “high walk,” in which the trunk is improved off the floor. A massive, lumbering croc? Might be smooth to mistake for a dragon.
The Goanna. Australia is domestic to some of the species of display lizards, also known as Goannas. The massive, predatory animals have razor-sharp enamel and claws, and they are essential figures in traditional Aboriginal folklore. Recent research even indicates that Goannas may produce venom that causes bite victims’ wounds to expand infections after an assault. At least in Australia, these creatures can be liable for the dragon fantasy.