Steven Brust’s advice on dragons – “always speak politely to an enraged dragon” – may find it’s way out of fantasy novels and into the real world if a group of Australian and British researchers is to be believed. The group recently published a paper in Nature arguing that global warming coupled with the unearthing of ancient hoards of buried treasure and the re-introduction of knighthoods in Australia may lead to what they call the “third stir”: an awakening of slumbering dragons from brumation (the reptilian equivalent of hibernation).
The press has been quick to report and disseminate this news, generating a worldwide panic that has led to stock market free falls and an unbelievable increase in the prices of plane tickets to Rome, Jerusalem, Mecca and Las Vegas as the world’s four main religious groups seek the global centers of their respective faiths. Despite the general public panic – of greater magnitude than even the Mars-induced panic of October 30th, 1938 – other scientists have dismissed the Australian-British groups’ claims. Dr. P.S. Smaug of the University of Durmstrang in Romania responds with a sonorous “pissh” when asked for his opinion on the recently published paper. “What do the Australians know about dragons? If you want some expert opinion go to New Zealand; those kiwis know their dragon lore,” he adds before throwing the paper away from him with a dismissive sniff.
As the public panics, members of the small but vibrant international collective of dragon experts appears divided on whether to take the group’s findings seriously or not. Their advice is to read the leading texts on dragons –Newt Scamander’s seminal Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Lady Trent’s memoirs, both of which have quickly climbed up Amazon’s bestsellers list – and for Tony Abbott to abolish the newly minted Australian knights.
Acknowledgements:Special thanks to Dr. P. S. Smaug an emeritus professor at the University of Durmstrang.
Managing Correspondent: Fernanda Ferreira
Original Paper: Here be Dragons
Other Media Coverage:The upside of global warming? Dragons, of course