Australia’s national science agency is trying to make amends for a gap in its research — dragons.
Sophia Lester, 7, of Queensland wrote the scientists when her parents couldn’t fulfill her request for one of the mythical fire breathers.
“Hello Lovely Scientist my name is Sophie and I am 7 years old,” her letter began. “My dad told me about the scientists at the CSIRO. Would it be possible if you can make a dagon foor me.”
Australia’s government scientists created a dragon named Toothless after apologizing to a 7-year-old girl and the nation for failing to take up the topic of dragon research earlier.
She suggested they name the scaly monster Toothless or Stuart based on the gender.
Instead of a form letter, scientists from the 87-year-old Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation posted a public apology that went viral.
Sophie Lester, 7, of Australia wrote to her country’s national science agency, asking for a dragon.
“We have sighted an eastern bearded dragon at one of our telescopes, observed dragonflies and even measured body temperatures of the mallee dragon,” the scientists wrote. “But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire breathing variety. And for this Australia, we are sorry.”
The scientists set out to make things right with a special project for Sophie.
“We couldn’t sit here and do nothing,” the agency said in a follow-up post. “After all, we promised Sophie we would look into it.”
Sophie Lester, 7, provided Australia’s national scientists with specifications for her dragon.
Scientists created a digital model of Toothless, and then used a 3-D printer to form the creature out of titanium.
“Titanium is super strong and lightweight,” said Chad Henry, CSIRO’s Additive Manufacturing Operations Manufacturer. “So Toothless will be a very capable flyer.”
Sophie’s mom, Melissa Lester, was stunned by the response from the scientists and the world-wide attention.
“All her friends are now saying they want to be a scientist, and Sophie says she now wants to work in the CSIRO,” Lester told the Canberra Times. “She’s saying Australian scientists can do anything.”