Ten Things You Didn't Know About Dragons

1. Dragons guard hoards of treasure not out of greed, but because of the healing properties of gold and other precious metals. Dragons lying on hoards have been overheard purring contentedly.

2. That’s right, some dragons purr, like cats. This should not, however, be taken as a sign that the dragon is well-disposed toward you. Deep contented purring often precedes a particularly vicious attack.

3. The average dragon’s pulse is one beat per minute. A dragon’s heartbeat may be audible from a mile away, or felt as a tremor in the ground from an even greater distance. That is why many professional dragonslayers go barefoot, to get as much advance warning of the presence and location of their enemy as possible.

4. Dragon bone is the hardest substance known to be produced by animal bodies. On the Mohs scale of hardness (in which diamond rates at 10), human tooth enamel is rated at 5, and dragon bone comes in at 9, the same hardness as sapphires and rubies, and far harder than quartz, iron and steel.

5. The longest-lived dragon is reputed to be Tau Lung, who was born before the formation of the Earth and inhabits the Sun (he may be responsible for sunspots and solar flares).
The shortest-lived dragons are the “offspring” of Motherworms, immense sack-like black dragons capable of vomiting hundreds of small fiery “drakelets” at their enemies. The drakelets can briefly fly on their own power but in a matter of moments they fall apart into gobbets of flame or burn to ash. Since the drakelets do not last long enough to reach maturity, it is not known how Motherworms actually reproduce.

6. There are seventeen officially recognized classes of dragon, including the well-known Firedrakes, as well as ice dragons, riverdrakes, celestial dragons, bookwyrms, etc. The classification of certain dragon-like creatures is currently in dispute, most notably in the case of the scaly flatwyrm, a parasitic organism that infests the digestive system of dragons and can grow to be over one hundred feet long. The scaly flatwyrm most often infests fire-breathers, and its irritating presence in the dragon’s bowels is said to be the real reason these dragons so often hate and attack humans.

7. Dragonflesh contains no fat. It is the healthiest and most vitamin-rich meat available, if you can get it. One has to be careful cooking dragonmeat, however, since it can spontaneously combust in an explosive burst of liquid fire.

8. The most intelligent dragon ever known, Auggg the Venerable, held a professorship in astronomy at Hypatian University in New Alexandria. She taught there for seventy-nine years before taking a well-earned retirement, though she still continued to give very popular lectures as a Professor Emeritus. Her office was a cavern deep underground said to be lined with the bones of hapless graduate students who never finished their dissertations.

9. The vulnerable spot on a dragon’s hide is not always on its underbelly. Dragons have been known to have what professional dragonslayers call “sweet spots” on other parts of their bodies, including the head, limbs, and tail. There have been legendary dragons whose hides were said to be completely impenetrable, but these creatures apparently all died of boredom after several centuries and thousands of failed attempts on their lives.

10. According to most enigmatists, a dragon is an event, not a thing. A fire-breather, for example, is what happens when heat, oxygen, and combustible material combine with story.

Image by TW