February 6th, 2020

Prague Bridge

How much does a dragon weigh?

Canada GooseI’ve been thinking about writing a fantasy story in which the main character picks up a sickly young dragon and carries it home. Would that be possible? How much does a dragon weigh?

Google’s answers refer mostly to Dungeons & Dragons, where the dragons weigh tons, and that’s not my fantasy universe. I want a fantasyland closer to our consensus reality (the “real world” to Muggles). Dragons fly, and birds fly, so perhaps we could extrapolate dragon weight from bird weight.

Canada geese have a sort of dragon-like shape — and like dragons, they can be nasty. If geese could spit fire at us, I’m sure they would. Very roughly (for easy math) a Canada goose is 3 feet long from beak to tail, has a 5 foot wingspan, and weighs 10 pounds. A dragon 30 feet long with a 50 foot wingspan would weigh 100 pounds.

That’s not very much. It would be far easier to carry around a dog-sized dragon than to carry around an actual dog. The hard part would be avoiding the dragon’s fiery breath.

Even a dragon the length of a city block, about 300 feet, with a wingspan equal to the height of a 50-story building would weigh only 1000 pounds. A dairy cow weighs more. World champion weightlifters could pick up a skyscraper-sized dragon.

So ... dragons are lightweights. That’s useful to know.

-- Sue Burke