Pickled Dragon

The STEMazing story reported on April 1st should have caused a bit of skepticism:

“In 2003, a resident of Oxfordshire, England announced that he had found a jar containing a specimen of a baby dragon. He said the jar had been stored in the garage for over a 100 years. The dragon had incredible detail: Tiny teeth lined the lizard-like head, and the wings, tail and an umbilical cord were well preserved. It had been offered to the British Natural History Museum in 1890, but it was lost and/or hidden from the public. The discoverer’s grandfather had rescued the specimen from a museum crate that was slated for disposal.  For the rest of the story, see the web link.”

We learn from the person who found the specimen in his garage that the grandfather said it was imported from scientists in Germany. Digging a bit further, the grandfather said that the British scientists rejected the specimen because they thought the Germans were tying to “punk” them.  So, it was planned for the rubbish heap.

Digging a little further, it turns out the whole story of the Germans and the British Museum was an invented tale that embellished the story. Most importantly, the dragon was actually a model made by a BBC TV studio for a series on dinosaurs.  

Yes, it’s a hoax.  Be careful what you hear on April Fools Day! (Any day, really!)

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