Mythical fire-breathing winged dragons are fictional and have never existed. As fiction, stories about dragons have been told since 4000 B.C.E.
Dragon myths exist in a number of different countries and cultures throughout history. Dragons are often guardians of treasure and must be slain by a hero.
Although dragons are fictional, Smithsonian Magazine has suggested that the discovery of dinosaur fossils may have led to the creation of dragon myths. Additionally, the Nile crocodile, Goanna lizards of Australia or whales may have served as inspiration for the dragon myths.
A lizard known as the Komodo dragon lives in Indonesia, but this reptile has little in common with the dragon myth.