Appreciate a Dragon Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
There Be Dragons
The phrase "Here be dragons" (sometimes also used as "There be dragons") means dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a medieval practice of putting illustrations of dragons, sea-monsters and other mythological creatures on uncharted areas of maps. Earlier cartographers similarly warned of elephants, hippos, and scorpions!
The Hunt-Lenox globe, dated 1510, is the only actual item which contains the words, "Hic sunt dracones" - there are no maps with the text of this warning. Interestingly, this popular belief may spring from a modern reference from one of Dorothy L. Sayers' short stories, "The Learned Adventure of the Dragon's Head" in Lord Peter Views the Body (London: Gollancz, 1928), in which a character refers to having seen "hic dracones" on an old map.
For more on whether or not and where this warning occurs on ancient maps click the vintage ocean map.
And for a video of "There be Dragons" performed at the Animal Themed Party, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, 2016, see below.