– By Sania Arif
A Quest in Search of HIM!
This series will focus on finding clarifications for some common misunderstandings and ambiguities which keep our minds tangled. This will be a journey encompassing dramatic stories about supernatural beings, mystery circumventing around some real life stories to the existence of astounding creatures that may have existed in nature. But the main thrive behind all these stories would be to find and acknowledge HIM (The Supreme Lord – Allah).
Dragons – Fantasy or Reality?
So do you really think that nature was berserk enough to create mighty flying creatures which could breathe fire? Most of you would negate the idea of the existence of such beasts, classifying it as “movies’ fantasies”. Then, why the Chinese Calendar has ‘The Year of the Dragon’ along with ox, rat, snake etc. Note that all other animals associated with years in the Chinese Calendar are real and still exist around us, but what about dragons? ‘Lost somewhere in History’! Dragons have not only been a predominant part of the Chinese culture but there are myths and statues of dragons in the western culture as well. They have always been one of the focal points of interest in western movies. It seems like they still do exist in our thoughts and imagination. 😛 Scary!!
And if dragons really did exist, how could it have been possible for them to breathe fire? Fire needs ignition, and a flammable substance to sustain it. How could these creatures have managed to ignite fire on air, if that is what the legends say? What was the composition of that flammable air? Didn’t it hurt them, burn them from inside?
“China Dragon Fossil”, recently put up on display in Xinwe Ancient Life Fossils Museum, Anshun, Guizho, seems to put an image in our heads of what dragons may have looked like, which is exactly like the legendary creatures in the fabled books and story.
So, if the historical and cultural data really is true and dragons really did exist, how could it have been possible for the mighty beasts to fly with such a massive body and to breathe fire? To date, a lot of theories are out there, but some of the most common opinions are, that a flammable gas like hydrogen or methane was produced in their stomach by gut inhabiting bacteria or by the digestion of decaying leaves and vegetables. This flammable gas not only provided substratum for fire, but was also suitable to act as a buoyant factor to aid in their flight. The friction between their teeth was used to ignite the flammable gas.
According to another theory, they used to eat platinum which acts as catalyst for ignition. Fire didn’t cause burns to dragons because of their mucus coated mouth and a special flap covering epiglottis to prevent fire back 3,4. Crocodiles also have one which prevents water from entering into the breathing system.
Studies suggest that prehistoric dragon species came to an end as a result of cataclysmic mass extinction (65 million years ago) along with dinosaurs5; those who survived evolved into other species (dragon lizards perhaps), while the rest either died out because they could not endure the survival of fittest or were put to end by the human race. Whatever may be the cause of their end, the fact still remains undeniable that dragons have left a great impact in shaping history, culture, our thoughts and even today’s movies – ‘How to Train your Dragon‘ for instance 🙂
But the main purpose of putting the whole story of dragons in black and white was to honor their Creator. Beyond shadow of a doubt, He is the Supreme Lord and His creations are a display of His omnipotence, power and authority. Indeed, everything is under His control and sway and He alone has knowledge of every myth and reality.
– The author is a senior at Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences and Assistant Project Manager at NAYS Survey.