Dragons come in all types and sizes. They can be mythical, or legendary, or fantastical, or even quite authentic. There are dragon stories and dragon tales in some form or another in nearly every culture throughout history. There are creatures that exist today with the name “dragon,” although they may not quite live up to the exalted status of dragons of yore. There are Eastern dragons and Western dragons, fire-breathing dragons, dragons that capture princesses and terrorize villages, wise dragons who hold the knowledge of the ages. Some dragons horde gold, some fly, some swim, some are defeated by the hero and others become their friend.
10 Types of Dragons
It is likely that at least part of the legends and myths regarding dragons have some basis in fact, and there is scientific evidence of certain creatures that may have inspired the dragon tales. We’ll tell you a little about both types of dragons, legendary and factual, and let you decide for yourselves whether or not to believe in dragons.
The Komodo Dragon is the largest living lizard on earth and part of the monitor family, or a land crocodile. It is found in Indonesia predominantly on Komodo Island although they are rarely seen on other Indonesian islands as well. Some Komodo Dragons grow up to ten feet long and can weight 150 pounds. There are only about 5,000 wild Komodo Dragons living today, making them an endangered species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (International Union for Conservatin of Nature.)
Classical Chinese Winged Dragons with serpentine bodies, Yinglong are the oldest of eastern dragons. They are said to have the talons of an eagle, the antlers of a deer and the eyes of a demon. It is known as the Proper Conduct Dragon, and is said to be the guardian of the waters. Yinglong is frequently included in myths concerning the Five Emperors. This dragon only gets its wings when it reaches its one thousandth birthday.
Dragons are mentioned in the Bible numerous times, at least 34 times, as in the Book of Revelations, Chapter 12 Verse 3: “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.” The chapter goes on to say that the great dragon was cast out, “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satin, which deceiveth the whole world.”
Image from : Wiki
The Monitor Lizard is a giant, meat-eating reptile found mostly in Australia and Southeast Asia. This carnivorous goanna is featured in Australian dragon folklore and also in the mythology of the Aborigines. These predatory lizards can grow more than eight feet long and have extraordinarily sharp teeth and claws. Some tales hold that the Monitor Lizard can drag off sheep, or even small children. Their bite is supposed to be poisonous, but goanna fat is used as bush medicine and is supposed to heal all sorts of ills.
From German and Norse mythology, the firedrake is usually found in a cave, guarding its treasure. It is , of course, able to breathe fire, looks like a monstrous serpent with massive claws on its front legs.The firedrake is the dragon that is defeated in the end of the epic poem, Beolwulf, and Smaug, the famous dragon of JRR Tolkien’s tale is also a firedrake.
In ancient times, these wayward creatures sometimes swam across the Mediterranean and wandered around Southern Europe, possibly inspiring some of the legendary dragon tales. Sightings of these nasty-looking monsters could have created a snow-ball type effect of story-telling that had them grow larger and more fierce with each re-telling.
Welsh Red Dragon:
The Red Dragon is so important to the Welsh people that their national flag displays an image of the fierce winged creature with pointed tongue and pointed tale. Welsh history records mention of dragons as early as 830 AD in a legend concerning two dragons engaged in battle beneath a hill called Dinas Emrys. There was a native dragon and a foreign dragon fighting a lengthy war of control that caused chaos in the country until the two dragons were tricked with a barrel of beer and buried deep underground so their screams of war would no longer disrupt the kingdom.
Also known in German legends as the World Serpent, Jormungand is supposed to be the result of a love affair between the god Loki and a human giantess. Upon discovering the child, Odin was so incensed that he tossed Jormungand into the vast ocean that encircles Midgard, our world. Jormungand was a serpent who was so greedy and ate so many fish that he grew to such an enormous size he could wrap himself around the entire Midgard. In his voracious greed he bit down on his own tail, and now he remains wrapped around the world, holding on to his tale. Legend holds if he ever lets go then the world will come to an end.
St. George’s Dragon:
An ancient British legend tells the story of a flying, fire-breathing dragon who lived in a lake near a small village called Silene. To keep the dragon from killing everyone in the village, they fed it sheep and sacrificed young maidens. The king’s daughter was to be sacrificed to the dragon when St. George rode up on his horse and pierced the dragon with his lance.
The golden dragon is found in tales across cultures, from Greek mythology to Norse legend. Gold dragons have long tails and massive wings, as well as two large metallic horns and whiskers around the mouth. It lives on high plateaus and smells like saffron and incense. Golden dragons are champions against all evil, they are wise and friendly and always aid the hero in triumphing over the villain of the piece. Golden dragons are the type that create such a fondness and love for dragon tales.