Dragons: An unexpected reality

After falling into the trap of going down the memory lane once again during the holidays, Stealth Shiva was wondering if he could make these nostalgic sessions any productive. Though someone had said every thought reaps an action, it led him to unravel the mystery of a dragon’s existence.

Less is known about the beings that soar freely, breathing fire, causing mayhem everywhere until a hero comes and subdues them. Dragons are no less than an emblem of fantasy. From Andromeda to Harry Potter to The Song of Ice and Fire and The Hobbit, they provide writers with breath-taking premises. But has there ever been a symbol which is unscathed? Be it Charizard in Pokemon or Toothless in How to Train your Dragon, they are acknowledged only as mythical creatures. Can dragons truly be real?

There are three F’s that make it unbelievable that they can ever exist – Form, Fire, and Flight. Before knocking off all three disbeliefs, here’s one belief that one should never believe in. The researcher, though acclaimed, was driven by nostalgia. Facts presented are, therefore, the sole responsibility of the reader. Stealth Shiva, thereby, swears non-allegiance to the desperate dragon-hunters or mutational mishaps that might lead to the creation of a chance dragon. 

Considering the anatomy of a dragon, the first F, form, poses a threat to their existence. The size of these species has never been consistent. Their sizes vary according to the mood of the writer. On analyzing data from all the sources, it can be concluded that an ideal existent dragon is similar in  form to that of the Charizard. Their size, weight and movement is quite comparable to that of a slightly obese human. Thus, if a human can exist in such a form, so can a dragon.

Breathing fire might seem absolutely absurd but the mechanism is found to be somewhat similar to the fire breathing acts in circuses. The only difference being that the fuel supply is derived from the digestive system of the animal itself. Dragons have a hybrid diet, producing methane as one of the by-products. Their body is designed to store this extra methane which can then be used whenever needed. Oxygen is present in the air and ignition is provided either chemically using biological catalysts, or mechanically by generation of sparks on crushing piezoelectric materials together. Surprisingly, material of their teeth has piezoelectric crystals, thus bringing all odds in their favor.

After form and fire, the next in sequence is Flight. For such a huge animal to fly, there is a need for wings made up of durable, yet lightweight material. This is achieved by a mixture of cartilaginous tissues with a material, biologically identical to the silk of Darwin’s bark spider. Being the toughest biological material, the silk provides a strength multiple times that of steel along with the self-repairing capability of tissues. Wings aid them in flying but when it comes to battling in air or doing flips and dives, they aren’t enough. To perform such feats, they must have lighter-than-air gases in their bodies. Thus, the stored methane proves useful yet again. The streamlined shape of their body is also a factor of assistance. However, to increase flight efficiency, it is required to get rid of heavy scales, spines, horns, and other bony protuberances, much to the disappointment of Smaug and GOT fans. 

With everything stated, if there is something that still remains unexplained, one needs to remember that scientists were not able to describe how bumblebees flew until 2001. Though the possibility of finding a dragon in the Lonely Mountain or Gringotts is highly unlikely, you can always find them in Charicific valley, down the same memory lane that marked the beginning of this ‘myth-busters’ journey of Stealth Shiva.

Kratika Chaturvedi

Bunny's burrow of happy faults, lucky failures and bittersweet memories, hidden beneath a squiggly heap that you just leafed through

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