One of the more fascinating creatures by far is the fire breathing monster we have come to know as a dragon. Dragons, in some cases a paranormal creature with bat like wings and resembles a lizard with legs and in others a snake like creature seen as a benevolent protector.
Whichever version of the beast we have come to know, there is much to discover of both types and the difference between the two legendary creatures.
In the history of man there have been two versions of a similar or perhaps even the same myth, the two myths are believed to have evolved separately but there is speculation as to how much each of them influenced the other. One derives from the Dark ages of the Europeans and can trace its history all the way back to Greek and middle eastern mythology and the other is from the far east, believed to have its origins in Ancient China and from there to have traveled over to Japan, Korea and other parts of eastern Asia.
The European dragon has most often been described as a lizard like creature with legs and bat like wings, more like a crocodile then a snake. Though in ancient days they were seen more like long serpent like creatures. These monsters were often believed to live in rivers or underground lairs and were thought to be malevolent and most wicked, although there are exceptions to that rule.
Eastern dragons on the other hand were more serpent like or snake like in appearance, often with lion like mane and long flowing whiskers. They were often seen as beneficial protectors and are thought to be the greatest in the rank of animals and is often associated with the emperor and thus power and influence. They are revered and likened to the forces of nature, religion and the universe.
Dragons are widespread throughout the world and some experts have even theorized that the origin of the beast, at least the European one might be derived from Nile Crocodiles who were in ancient times found much further north then they are today, having crossed the Mediterranean. Some say that people might have discovered fossilized dinosaurs and believed their bones to be of dragons.
Although believe in dragons today is limited and almost extinct, people continue to be fascinated by the myth. Some examples of this might be found in the many fantasy novels of modern times, for example older works JRR Tolkien’s Hobbit and lord of the rings and newer works like the Song of Ice and fire by author George R Martin, which has now been made into a popular HBO TV series.
Dragons can also be seen in TV and Movies, for example DragonHeart with Sean Connery and Reign of Fire made back in 2002. Those are just two examples of many! That’s not all, you can also find them in computer games and board games and so on. In short you can find them just about everywhere!
Fact and Fiction:
- The lumbering beasts with scales and breath of fire, flying through the air on bat like wings is actually not the truth according to history. Most accounts of dragons do not describe them as being capable of flight!
- Japanese dragons are thought to be derived from the Chinese ones and are seen as a water entities, often associated with lakes and rivers and in some cases with rain. For some reason Japanese dragons almost always have three claws.