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The World of Dragons: The Feathered Storm Dragon

“Anzu^ was a great feathered dragon; swift as wind, fervent as fire, relentless as water. Storm clouds grew wherever he went, crackling with streaks of lightning.”

A History of Dragons: The Truth in Mythology by Ailuv Drah Gonz

Scientific name: Draco fulgur.
Origin: Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Kuwait (ancient Mesopotamia).
Diet: Omnivorous. May include dates, barley, birds and deer.
Life span: 100 years.
Size: Roughly two metres tall when standing on back legs.
Colour: Dark grey or blue.
Notable features: Feathered wings.

Feathered storm dragons, as their name suggests, have feathered bodies and large feathered wings. Their back legs are clawed, while their front legs and face resemble that of a lion’s. They are often deep grey or blue in colour, with features occasionally in orange or yellow. The feathered storm dragon causes thunderstorms by creating convection cells—a process where warm air rises into cool air. This creates a circuit of rising and falling air, which can trigger a thunderstorm. These storms serve as a defence mechanism for the dragons.

The feathered storm dragon was long believed to be extinct. Records of these dragons disappeared after the decline of Mesopotamian civilisation and cultures, particularly after Alexander the Great’s conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BCE. The feathered storm dragon had vanished, remembered only in Mesopotamian myth.

In the mid-2000s, a number of unexplained thunderstorms occurred across the Mediterranean and Middle East. They puzzled meteorologists—how could storms just appear? Then Gale Wethar, a meteorologist with a background in ancient history, suggested a possible explanation. An interview below:

            “Interviewer: But surely you know this idea is ludicrous?

            Gale Wethar: I know it sounds crazy. These storms are quite literally coming out of nowhere. But something must be causing them. That’s when I remembered learning about Anzu^.

            I: For those who are unaware, you studied ancient history as an undergraduate student, correct?

            GW: Yes, that’s right. Anzu^ is the earliest recorded feathered storm dragon, first documented by the Sumerians. People believed he was the storm clouds personified—or perhaps dragonified! So instead of trying to trace wind patterns and cold fronts, we started looking for evidence of dragons. Working with several dragonologists, we actually started to see traces of life.

            I: What did you find?

            GW: Well, there were reports of unexplainable animal droppings, disappearing livestock and trees stripped of leaves. By now, there were storms in several different regions. Perhaps one of the most surprising developments was reports of a tussle between a burrowing sand dragon and some unknown assailants, right around the time storms were reported near the Israeli-Egypt border. What’s more, large feathers were found at the site.

            I: So you believe this points towards the return of feathered storm dragons?

            GW: I do.

            I: Let’s say you’re right. Why would they choose now to emerge?

            GW: We believe that several groups of feathered storm dragons migrated to secluded locations after Alexander the Great’s invasion. This allowed them to stay hidden until a group was disturbed, likely by conflict from the Iraq War. This group seems to have fled and alerted other groups across the region, leading to a mass exodus of feathered storm dragons. They are understandably quite distressed, which is why the storms are becoming so common.”

With this realisation, governments across the world clamoured to be the ones to resettle the dragons. The observations made by Gale Wether and her team greatly aided this process, as described by an Australian government official:

            “We’ll simply track down any unusual storms, wait for the dragons to land for food or sleep, sedate them with gas or darts, and load them onto transport.”

Some dragons were relocated back to Iraq, but many were moved to other locations including Australia. This has raised many ethical issues. The dragons fled from human activity, and many argue this means humans must take responsibility. However, though dragons cannot be kept in captivity, most have been relocated to tourist parks and reserves, locations easily accessed by humans. While relocating the dragons may have saved them from distress—at least temporarily—tours to the feathered storm dragons’ new homes often sell out in minutes. Have these actions truly saved the dragons, or have they simply become another commodity for humans to enjoy?

 
Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Five 2022

EDITION SIX 'RETROFUTURISM' AVAILABLE NOW!

Our last print edition of 2022 is here! This wild, visionary edition is filled with burning nostalgia, glittering hope, and tantalising visions of the future, past, and present.

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