Australia’s national science agency has issued a rare apology to a seven-year-old girl for not being able to make her a fire-breathing dragon, blaming a lack of research into the mythical creatures.
The youngster, Sophie, wrote to a “Lovely Scientist” at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), politely asking whether they could make her a winged pet of her own.
“I would call it Toothless if it was a girl and if it is a boy I would name it Stuart,” she wrote in her letter, promising to feed it raw fish and play with it when she wasn’t at school.
Toothless is the name of a dragon befriended by a Viking teenager in the How to Train Your Dragon series of children’s books. The pair also feature in a popular film franchise. Stuart is her father’s name.
Sophie’s request prompted an unusual apology from the 87-year-old institution, which admitted “we’ve missed something”.
“There are no dragons,” it said in a blog reply posted on its website this week.
“Over the past 87 odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs,” it said, adding that its scientists had observed dragonflies and even measured the body temperatures of the lizard known as a mallee dragon.
Read more at: Phys.org