Dragons are the most popular mythological creatures there are. In virtually every culture you will find stories and legends involving these mythical beasts. Even though dragons never really walked the earth, they do bear a striking resemblance to dinosaurs and other large reptiles, which is likely where the tall tales of dragons began. Dragons play an integral role in movies, books, films and folklore, although it’s not quite clear where these stories originated from.
Despite resembling dinosaurs, dragons had features uniquely their own, which varied between cultures. Generally speaking, dragons were said to be large flying serpents that breathed fire and had rough, scaly skin that had the ability to change colors. Depending on the legend, dragons could be known for being protective and friendly or dangerous and threatening. For hundreds of years, we have been reading plot lines about how heroes slayed the menacing dragons to save humankind.
Dragons did not live among people. Most often they were said to live in caves, in the mountains, at the bottom of the sea, somewhere deep in a magical forest and even at the center of the earth. All of these places were scary to the mortal man so it’s no wonder a scary beast must inhabit them and no mere mortal man should dare venture near.
One of these “dragons” appeared from the sea during the time that Christopher Columbus sailed off to the new world. Back in those days, people believed that the earth was flat and that dragons lived at the edges so only the very brave would ever explore into their boundaries. That’s why “Here be dragons” was printed on most of the sea charts and maps during those times!
Dragons first appeared in folklore about 4,000 years ago so they were around way before people started exploring the edges of the earth. Greek mythology has several stories that depict dragons, including the one about Perseus where a queen almost sacrificed her daughter to a dragon to appease him. Dragons were also believed to be the guardians of treasures, portals to magic lands and sometimes of maidens in distress whom they have kidnapped.
Dragons weren’t always depicted as being scary, evil or in need of slaying. Sometimes, they were popular characters in children’s stories, too – like Puff The Magic Dragon. Even today, dragons remain a popular character in video games, role playing games and animated films – like How To Tame Your Dragon.
Dragon Tattoo Meanings
As you are already aware, tattoos mean different things to different people. The same can be said of dragon tattoos. In some cultures, dragons are seen as symbols of strength and power while other cultures view them as things to be feared and annihilated. Some of the more common meanings of dragon tattoos are:
There are some dragon tattoos that have more elaborate meanings and those tend to be the more popular dragon tattoo designs. Here are some examples of those.
There is a saying that you should let sleeping dragons lie. This phrase is a warning not to awaken a beast because you will have to deal with its wrath if you do.
A dragon rising out of the ruins is a testament to overcoming adversity in life and rising above any obstacles in your way.
Dragons are a popular theme in the Asian culture because they have a very prominent place in their history. Asian dragon tattoos are usually associated with wealth and prosperity – nothing, but good omens.
A dragon with horns is believed to be the “top dragon” because he is said to be more powerful than all other kinds.
Dragon tattoos are popular with men and are usually considered to be a masculine design. However, women are fans of dragon tattoos as well, although theirs tend to be smaller and more elaborate. Here’s a look at some of the best dragon tattoo designs we have found and brief overview about what each design may mean.
Fun Facts About Dragons
The word dragon comes from the Latin word ‘draconeum’, which means huge serpent.
Most dragons could breathe fire, but there were some very special ones that could breathe ice.
Knights from the Middle Ages were sent out to fight and slay dragons as a testament to their bravery.
The legend of the dragon likely stemmed from dinosaur fossils that were found by people who imagined what kind of creature they must have come from.
Some dragons were said to have horns.
There were different sized dragons, some of which were quite small.