Source of Screenshots:
Sophie Lester, a seven-year-old girl from Queensland, Australia, wanted a baby dragon for Christmas of 2013. Her mother, Melissah Lester, said, “Her dad sat her down and said we couldn’t get her one. But he suggested why don’t we write and see if someone can get you one? And she said, ‘What about a scientist?’” She wrote this letter to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency:
“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.”
Sophie’s parents were hoping that the CSIRO would write back and say that getting Sophie a dragon was impossible, but instead on 6 January 2014 Vanessa Hill of the CSIRO wrote a tongue-in-cheek apology for its lack of dragon research:
“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.”
Ms. Hill added, “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.”
Ms. Lester said that Sophie liked the response by the CSIRO: “All her friends are now saying they want to be a scientist and Sophie says she now wants to work in the CSIRO. She’s saying Australian scientists can do anything.”
CSIRO decided to make Sophie a dragon. In January 2014, they created Toothless, 3D printed out of the material titanium, at Lab 22, CSIRO’s additive manufacturing facility in Melbourne, Australia.
Source: “A 3D printed dragon.” CSIRO. 9 January 2014
For Further Information: Ben Westcott, “CSIRO ‘apologises’ for lack of research on dragons.” The Age (Melbourne, Australia). 8 January 2014
For Further Information: Vanessa Hill, “Accelerating our dragon R&D program.” CSIRO. 6 January 2014
For Further Information: Vanessa Hill, “Here be 3D printed dragons.” CSIRO. 10 January 2014
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