SYDNEY – Australia’s national science agency has issued a rare apology to a 7-year-old girl for not being able to make her a fire-breathing dragon, blaming a lack of research into the mythical creatures.
The girl, Sophie, wrote to a “Lovely Scientist” at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), 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.
Toothless is the name of a dragon befriended by a Viking teenager in the “How to Train Your Dragon” children’s books and films.
Her request prompted an apology from the institution, which admitted “we’ve missed something.”
“There are no dragons,” it said in a 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 have observed dragonflies and even measured the body temperatures of the lizard known as a mallee dragon.
“But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety. And for this Australia, we are sorry.”
The inquiry had a fairy-tale ending Friday when the CSIRO announced that, thanks to Sophie’s letter, “a dragon was born. . . . Toothless, 3-D printed out of titanium, came into the world at Lab 22, our additive manufacturing facility in Melbourne.”
The electric-blue and gray dragon, small enough to be held by hand, is currently en route to Sophie’s home in Brisbane.