Theories as to what inspired stories of dragons include lost crocodiles and dinosaur bones, but we can’t call these real dragons because humans never encountered dinosaurs, and crocodiles are too small. That’s where the Megalania comes in, an ancient relative of the Komodo Dragon that terrorized the Aboriginals of Australia. It grew to lengths of up to twenty-six feet (eight meters) and weighed up to 4,300 pounds (1.9 tons). Its poisonous saliva contained a blood thinner that caused its victims to bleed to death.
The Kraken is widely believed to have been inspired by a giant squid. That’s a little bit of a letdown, isn’t it? With eyes like beach balls, a giant squid is big for sure, but it lacks a certain . . . monstrosity. It’s not something we could see tearing a boat apart.
But recently a Colossal Squid was discovered in the Southern Ocean. It’s estimated to be about forty-six feet (fourteen meters) in length and its beak and eyes are bigger than that of a giant squid. What sets it apart from other squids: in addition to suckers, its limbs are lined with sharp hooks, some that swivel and others that have three points. Now that could do some damage.
3. Dire Wolf
The Dire Wolf has appeared in many role-playing games, and maybe you’ve read (or seen) them most recently on Game of Thrones. In real life, dire wolves existed alongside early man and the mega-fauna in the Pleistocene Age. They were larger than the average wolf, stronger, and had sharper teeth.
But when the mega-fauna began to go extinct, dire wolves lost their primary food source. They were too slow to hunt the smaller prey that modern grey wolves feasted upon, which forced them to become scavengers—something they weren’t really built for. Eventually they died out.
4. Imoogi – The giant python
Korean legends speak of Imoogi—enormous pythons believed to be juvenile dragons. It is said that the Imoogi lived in water or caves, and had to survive for a thousand years before they could ascend to heaven and become true, fully-formed dragons.
Although it existed in South America and not Korea, there was a python of such gigantic proportions that we might mistake it for a young dragon. The Titanoboa was roughly 46 feet (14 meters) in length and weighed over a ton. It constricted at a force of 400psi, which is like having 1.5 times the Brooklyn Bridge on top of you, and it could swallow a human without even showing a bulge. They went extinct long ago, but we like to think that they ascended to dragon-hood.
5. Krishna’s City of Dwarka – A city known to have submerged under water
According to legend, Krishna (Hindu equivalent of Jesus) ruled over the city of Dwarka—until it was swallowed by the sea. For Hindus, finding the Lost City of Dwarka would be like finding the Holy Grail or the Arc of the Covenant.
Archaeologists have discovered a sunken cityoff the shores of India. Stone reliefs found in this city have not only indicated that it is in fact Dwarka, the oldest city in history, but that it was ruled by a flesh and blood Lord Krishna.
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