A little Australian girl named Sophie wanted something for Christmas that, while her parents just couldn’t get her. They had to sit down with Sophie and explain that they wouldn’t be able to get it for her, but maybe she could write to someone and ask for help.
Sophie wanted a dragon.
Now, most kids might write to Santa, but not Sophie. Sophie decided that she needed a scientist and, as such, she wrote the letter after the break to Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.
Hello Lovely Scientist
My name is Sophie and I am 7 years old. My dad told me about the scientists at the CSIRO. Would it be possible if you can make a dragon for me. I would like it if you could but if you can’t thats fine.
I would call it toothless if it was a girl and if it is a boy I would name it Stuart.
I would keep it in my special green grass area where there are lots of space. I would feed it raw fish and I would put a collar on it. If it got hurt I would bandage it if it hurt himself. I would play with it every weekend when there is no school.
Love from Sophie
But here’s where it gets better.
CISRO wrote back by way of their blog and their response is just awesome:
We’ve been doing science since 1926 and we’re quite proud of what we have achieved. We’ve put polymer banknotes in your wallet, insect repellent on your limbs and Wi-Fi in your devices. But we’ve missed something.
There are no dragons.
Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs. We have sighted an eastern bearded dragon at one of our telescopes, observed dragonflies and even measured body temperatures of the mallee dragon. But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety.
And for this Australia, we are sorry.
Last week the Scientific American hypothesised whether dragon fire would be produced by flint, gas, or rocket fuel. We already do some research in alternative fuels, so perhaps dragon fuel is a good area for us to start accelerating our dragon R&D program. Hobbit fans would have observed the amount of fire in Smaug’s belly. But how much energy could it produce? Would dragon fuel be a low emissions option?
Thanks for the fuel for thought, Sophie. We’re looking into it. In the meantime, you can always admire the brood of Daenerys Targaryen.
If you have time, it’s worth heading to the blog and looking at it because they put all sorts of neat links in for Sophie and others reading.
(via The Mary Sue)