Friday, April 19, 2024

Dragons In Mythology And Folklore

Dragons and Their Origin: Overview

There have been numerous stories of dragons throughout history, some of the oldest stories reaching back to 4000 BC. Dragons are still the villains or centerpieces in many contemporary stories and films like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and even the children’s book and film How to Train Your Dragon. While these creatures are popular with many children now and even some adults, they were once heavily feared and thought to be real. While not many people believe in dragons now, even the Animal Planet channel has made a fake documentary about the creature, making it seem as though the monster did exist.


Though it is obvious today that there is no such creature as the dragon, it’s not impossible to imagine that there were dragons hundreds or thousands of years ago, at least in the eyes of people who lived that long ago. There are myths about these creatures worldwide, from Australia to China, to Europe, and beyond. If dragons were not real, then why was their story told all around the world?


Theories About the Existence Of Dragons In Different Cultures

One theory is that people may have found dinosaur bones and mislabeled them as dragons. After all, thousands of years ago, the people who lived had no technology to tell them that the fossils were millions of years old instead of decades. Whale skeletons, large snakes, and other large reptiles and birds could have easily spread the myth of the dragon. After all, every continent has at least one of these creatures. This could explain why the myth of the dragon was so widespread.


Cultures from around the world hold the dragon up with high respect or recognize them because of the fear they have for them. The dragon also has a different look to it all around the world as well. In many places, the dragon was like it was in movies, like a dinosaur with wings. In some other places, it was simply a sea monster, a large snake, or a snake-like creature with wings. No matter what it looked like, it was called a dragon, and it was widely feared throughout different cultures and times.


Eastern Culture

In eastern countries like China, these creatures are more likely to be seen as lucky signs. They are bound to bring fortune and good luck to certain people. They also tend to be seen as much less evil than the Western dragons. These dragons are said to look more snake-like than the dragons of the West as well. Their snake-like appearance could be the result of their counterparts in the east, swamps, or other watery places.

Western Culture

In Western countries, in Europe or Africa, dragons are usually said to look more dinosaur-like rather than snake-like. These creatures are much more monstrous than those of the East, and in no way were they a sign of good luck.

If you saw a dragon, then you were likely to die soon after. Some people thought that witches or other magical people could curse others into becoming dragons. In the west, these creatures lived in caves on mountains, in hot places like the deserts, or in fiery places resembling Hell.

Depending on where the dragon legend was told, the dragons also could have special powers and abilities. In most cultures, a dragon’s scales protected them from attacks; and their weakness lay in their soft belly. Many of these creatures had claws to fight with and wings to fly.

Dragons’ Descriptions and Summary

Many of these creatures were able to spit fire, acid, and sometimes venom. Mostly in Western cultures, dragons loved to hoard treasure and gold, and for some reason, princesses and other royalty. Dragons almost everywhere in the world were said to have advanced intelligence when compared to other animals, and even some people.

Some of these creatures could talk and reason, while others only stole and killed. Others had magic powers, while others only used their strength to kill. No matter how you describe a dragon, it will come off as being a fearsome creature, no matter where you are.

Now, dragons are in cartoons and are much less fearsome. However, the old legends of dragons live on, and so does the mystery of whether they existed or not. Were dinosaur bones mistaken for dragons, or are the dragons alive and well, hiding, but still living among us? Only time will tell and explain this mysterious creature once and for all.

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