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龙是如何征服世界的

How Dragons Conquered the World

Big, fire-breathing dragons
巨大的喷火龙
. They’re just beasts from fairy tales and fantasy fiction, right?
它们只是童话故事和奇幻小说里的猛兽 对吧?
That’s basically true,
这基本上是真的
but those stories only tell a fraction of the dragon’s vast history.
但龙的历史悠久 这些故事只讲述了其中一小部分
And I’m here today to tell you that dragons are real…Sort of.
今天我想告诉大家龙真的存在……算是吧
《怪物理论》
We like dragons because let’s be honest, they look cool.
老实说 我们喜欢龙是因为它们很酷
Many of us have pets, and
许多人有宠物
the dragon is the ultimate fantasy—something beautiful
而龙是大家对宠物的终极幻想——
yet ferocious, both loyal and capable of protecting us.
它们迷人而凶猛 是我们忠实的守护者
Dragons have been a part of human culture for thousands of years.
几千年来 龙一直是人类文明的一部分
Countless countries and cultures have integrated stories
无数国家和文明的口述故事 美术作品
of large serpentine creatures
以及文学作品中
into their oral storytelling, art, and literature
都有关于这巨型蛇形生物的故事
—but why?
这是为什么呢?
Early discoveries of inexplicable natural phenomenon
很久以前 人们遇到无法解释的自然现象
let our imagination run wild.
便展开了无限的遐想
The mystifying nature of the dragon can most probably be accounted for
龙神出鬼没的本性可能源于
by human encounters with an astounding creature;
人们遇到的某种不可思议的生物
like a large aquatic animal floating just below the surface.
比如浮在水面下的大型水生动物
An abnormally large snake,
异常巨大的蛇
even an aggressive Komodo dragon became legendary monsters.
甚至好斗的科莫多龙都成了传说中的怪物
In the 13th Century, Marco Polo famously claimed to
13世纪 马可•波罗宣称他在中国旅行时
encounter “huge serpents” with two legs and sharp teeth while traveling in China,
遇到了有着两条腿和锋利牙齿的“巨蛇”
writing “The jaws are wide enough to swallow a man.
他在书中写道:它的下颌很宽 足以吞下一个人
The teeth are large and sharp and their whole appearance is so formidable,
它的牙齿又大又锋利 整个外表令人生畏
that neither man, nor any kind of animal can approach them without terror.”
所有的人和动物见到它都会害怕
Now, it is generally believed that these “dragons” Polo spoke of
现在人们普遍认为 马可•波罗所说的“龙”
were in fact… just crocodiles.
其实就是鳄鱼
Dragon myths are in part a response to these encounters
龙的传说有一部分源于人们偶然发现的动物
and there is a rich history to them that spans across many cultures.
龙的历史丰富多彩 许多文明都有记载
Each dragon is unique to the time and place of its creation.
每条龙在它的时代和发源地都是独一无二的
This is why there is no one “type” of dragon.
所以不存在同一种类型的龙
Not all breathe fire, some don’t even have wings! Or feet!
不是所有龙都会喷火 有的龙甚至没有翅膀或脚
This is a dragon.
这是一条龙
But so is this.
这也是
Even these guys are all considered dragons.
就连这些也被称为龙
But what accounts for such wide differences in appearance?
为什么它们外表的差异如此巨大?
While there are examples of dragons all across the globe,
虽然全球各地都有龙的传说
from the benevolent, shape shifting dragons of China
比如中国的龙 性情温顺会变身
to the feathered Mesoamerican dragon-god,
中美洲的龙神长着羽毛
for now let’s just focus on those most common in fantasy literature —
但现在我们主要看看奇幻作品中最常见的龙
the Classical dragon and one of my personal favorites, the Wyvern.
古典龙以及我个人最喜欢的龙之一——双足飞龙
The wyvern is a dragon frequently associated with the United Kingdom.
双足飞龙常常出现在英国的故事中
It’s distinct from other types of dragons
和其它龙比起来 它非常特别
because its reptilian body possesses wings but only two legs.
它身型如蛇 长了翅膀却只有两条腿
George R. R. Martin adopted
George R.R.Martin在他的电视剧里
the wyvern-style of dragon.
采用了这种形象的龙
Khaleesi’s reptilian children have very long necks and tails,
卡丽熙的几条龙 脖子和尾巴都很长
large wings, and only hind legs.
它们的翅膀巨大 只有后腿
Martin considered biology alongside myth
在创作卓耿和它的兄弟姐妹时
when crafting Drogon and his siblings,
Martin同时参考了生物学和神话故事
arguing that living or dead, from bat to pterodactyl,
结论是 从现有的到灭绝的 从蝙蝠到翼龙
“No beast in nature has four legs AND wings.”
自然界不存在长着四条腿以及翅膀的野兽
Well, tell that to the creators of the “Classical dragon.”
把这个结论告诉古典龙的创造者吧
Recognizable by their four legs and powerful wings,
今天最常见的龙
this form of dragon is the one most commonly seen today.
都长着四条腿和力大无穷的双翼
So how do we explain these differences?
我们怎么解释这些差异呢?
Before paleontology existed,
古生物学出现之前
skeletal remains were not always recognizable
人们并非总能认出
as the bones belonging to long dead animals.
化石就是死亡很久的动物留下的骨骼
The prehistoric marine reptiles Plesiosaurus
史前海洋爬行动物蛇颈龙
were large, long-necked creatures with four long flippers.
体型巨大 脖子长 还有四条长长的鳍足
Plesiosaurus fossils easily could have been mistaken
由于蛇颈龙有类似于双足飞龙的双翼和双腿
for the two wings and two legs of a wyvern,
或者说是古典龙的四条腿
or even the four legs of a classical dragon.
它的化石很容易被人们误认为是龙
Even today we find more evidence that
今天有更多的证据表明
previous cultures encountered reptilian fossils.
传说中的龙其实是某种爬行动物
In 2015, an ancient fossil was discovered
2015年 人们发现了一个古化石
that appeared serpentine and has four legs.
它看起来像蛇 还有四条腿
And a recent discovery in China
中国最近的一项研究表明
revealed this two-legged dinosaur
这是只两条腿的恐龙
with a pair of bat-like wings.
它有蝙蝠那样的翅膀
I told you dragons were real!
所以说 龙是真的!
J.R.R. Tolkien had his own taxonomic system for dragons.
J.R.R.Tolkien有一套自己的将龙分类的体系
He classifies the creatures by their capacity to breathe fire
他根据龙的喷火能力以及它们的移动方式
and how they move around.
来对它们进行分类
His writings depict dragons with and without wings,
他在书里描述的龙 有的有翅膀 有的没有
with legs and without,
有的有腿 有的没有
and only some capable of breathing fire.
只有一部分龙可以喷火
His most famous dragon, the clever,
其中最有名的是史矛革 它聪明又邪恶
treasure-guarding “wicked worm” Smaug,
看守着宝物
checks off multiple boxes in Tolkien’s taxonomy.
它在Tolkien的分类书中出现了很多次
Like many authors today,
像现在的许多作者一样
Tolkien combines different dragon myths
Tolkien把各种有关龙的传说结合起来
to create the most terrifying beast imaginable.
创造了人类所能想象的最可怕的龙
The most iconic trait of the dragon its ability to breath fire,
它最具标志性的特征就是能喷火
but where did this attribute come from?
这个特征是怎么来的呢?
The development of fire-breathing dragons
人们能构想出喷火龙
could have been a result of the geological features of Northern Europe,
可能是北欧的地理特点导致的
specifically the presence of natural gas vents.
特别是那些天然气喷口
A wayward lightning strike or dropped torch by a miner
任意的雷击或者矿工扔掉的火把
could have provided the spark that
就能点燃洞里的天然气
sent a tongue of flame or
从洞口喷出一条火舌
wave of noxious gas to the surface.
或一股有毒的热浪
Not having a way to explain this natural phenomenon,
由于无法解释这种自然现象
we filled in the gaps with a supernatural explanation
于是人们想出了一种超自然的解释
—the fire-breathing dragon.
这是龙喷出的火焰
This may also partially explain
这也许在一定程度上解释了
why dragons are associated with guarding treasure,
为什么人们总是把龙和看守宝物联系在一起
often below ground or in dark caves.
且通常是在地下或黑暗的洞穴里
Miners would have been likely trying to deter thieves with scary stories
矿工们很可能用可怕的怪物看守着宝物
of a monstrous creature protecting their own fortunes.
这种恐怖故事来吓唬小偷
Depictions of the dragon as a fire-breathing creature appear as early as the 10th century,
早在10世纪 龙就被描述为喷火的生物
when the gates of hell were said to be the flaming mouth of a demonic beast.
那时 人们说地狱之门是魔兽燃烧的嘴巴
So what can we make from thousands of years of stories
那么 从这几千年来有关龙的故事和画像中
and images of dragons?
我们能得到什么呢?
What can these tales teach us?
这些神话故事教会了我们什么?
The dragon represents a human appreciation and respect for the power of nature.
龙代表人类对自然力量的欣赏之情和敬畏之心
They remind us to tread carefully across rivers,
它提醒着我们 过河要小心
to avoid dark caverns, and to humble us in
远离黑暗的洞穴
the presence of beasts stronger than ourselves.
敬畏那些比人类强大的生物
The dragon is legendary—
龙是一个传奇
it doesn’t really matter so much whether or not it existed.
它是否存在并不重要
What does matter is that in an age when nature was mostly unexplained,
重要的是 在无法解释诸多自然现象的年代
dragons were a way to make sense of a world that seemed much more mysterious.
龙是人们了解这个神秘世界的一种方式

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视频概述

世界上为什么有这么多关于龙的传说,我们一起来看看吧。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Spencer

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsZVKCQHdlo

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