How different would the world be if we had dragons?

Many books and films imagine worlds where dragons exist. Such ideas are common for fantasy and even some science fiction works, but few actually explore the real world consequences of a world where gigantic fire breathing animals exist.

So what would the world be like if dragons exist?

The world wouldn’t be any different, at least not any more. We would have killed them all by now.

Humans are the dominant vertebrates on Earth, and we wouldn’t stand for massive, airborne, sentient, fire-breathing, gold-hording monsters threatening our cities, towns, and villages. Over the centuries, we would have developed defenses against them, such that our populations centers could exist in relative security. Over time, we would develop weapons capable of destroying dragons with little danger or difficulty. They would all be dead by now. We’d be safer, certainly, but at a price.

We may have elected to save a few from death, as zoo attractions or possibly as breeding stock, but I can’t imagine dragons would thrive in captivity, and they would probably have died out by now. If we found any useful properties to their bodies, we would massacre them to the very last one. In fact, all it would take is the merest suggestion that powdered dragon horn was an aphrodisiac, and they would all be wiped out in short order.

Their only hope would be in domestication, either as beasts of burden, as food, or as animals for “specialty goods” (scales, horns, bones, teeth). But again, I can’t imagine dragons would domesticate very easily. There’s a reason why midieval knights rode horses, and not tigers, into battle. The domestication of dogs has taken millenia of cohabitation with humans, and they’re much smaller than dragons, and easier to manage. And still, dog attacks are quite common. We’ve never come close to domesticating any of the other large alpha predators, only penning them in as spectacles. Dragons would not suffer to be caged like lions. They would require massive, reinforced, bunker-like aviaries, like those in the Jurassic movie franchise, and that’s just not practical. Otherwise, they would require massive restraining systems, cages, and chains to keep them from escaping, but at that point, why bother.

No, we wouldn’t be able to live with dragons. They’re too powerful for us to share the world with. They’d all be dead by now, and the world would be less magical, less wonderful, and less fantastic for it.

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Rick Allen

Rick Allen

Rick is a Film Buff, Tolkien Nerd, Cigar Aficionado and Whiskey Fiend.

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