The world of The Hobbit is one filled with spells and magic, but could there be some science lurking in the bowels of its famous dragon, Smaug?
In my latest Because Science, I speculate about the evolution of the dragon’s deadly breath. Perhaps some ancient reptilian ancestors evolved to collect and store the gases that gurgle out of consumed prey. Or maybe Smaug’s biological ancestry developed something a bit more sophisticated, like reservoirs of hypergolic chemicals — chemicals that react and spontaneously combust after coming together. There’s already an insect that uses a similar strategy.
It’s more realistic than Legolas being in any of these movies at least.