The Leopard dragon is one of the fastest and smartest dragons out there. With four eyes, external ears, four legs, two wings, a long tail, and sleek black scales, this dragon is quiet and nearly invisible at night. Its venom is painful but not terribly lethal, until the dragon decides to shoot it at whatever is bothering it. Upon leaving the dragon’s fangs the venom is combined with saliva and begins to thicken to a napalm-like gel in air that combusts and can self-oxidize. This results in a very sticky substance that won’t stop burning until it runs out of fuel.

So what kind of materials does the dragon need to do this? Can it make the necessary components from bodily processes or will it need to consume certain resources in order to fuel this breath attack? Any comments or alternative ideas that sound more plausible or just more interesting are appreciated!

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    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How could dragons be explained without magic? $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Mar 9, 2018 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Aify Are any of the close voters bothered to read the question? As i understand this is not a typical dragon. $\endgroup$
    – Vincent
    Mar 9, 2018 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ If it wouldn't be completely off topic, I'd propose posting this on space.stackexchange.com. What you are looking for is a hypergolic compound like they use in some rocket fuels but one that can be produced through biological agents. I have neither the chemistry or biology knowledge to give an actual answer but you may want to restate your question to distinguish it more from the one Aify pointed to. Also, that question might provide you with some answers as well. $\endgroup$
    – ShadoCat
    Mar 9, 2018 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ @nzaman yes, hopefully with an explanation of how the dragon could make or obtain it. $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    Mar 9, 2018 at 18:20
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    $\begingroup$ You might consider changing the title to reflect that, e.g., How would my Leopard Dragon breathe napalm? $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Mar 9, 2018 at 18:22

2 Answers 2


The dragon might be able to shoot napalm using yeast, bacteria, palm trees, and oil sand gizzard stones. The yeast and bacteria make the fuel, the palm trees and oil sands make the gel.

This question goes into various ways that a dragon might produce fire, and this answer might be a good natural reason for your situation. Basically, the dragon would have a sac containing ethanol-producing yeast, and another sac containing sulfuric acid-producing bacteria. These would combine to produce the highly flammable diethyl ether, whose Wikipedia page contains the very disturbing line "It was used as a general anesthetic, until non-flammable drugs were developed".

However, the other requirement you seem to have is that it needs to produce a napalm-like gel substance in order to stick the flames to the target. You say 'napalm-like gel', but why not actual napalm gel? Napalm gets its name from the two chemicals used to make the gelling agent: Naphthenic acid and palmitic acid.

Palmitic acid is the easy one to explain, as it is already the most common type of fatty acid found in animals. To get large enough amounts, just have the dragon's diet be rich in oil palms for some reason. Some biological mechanism and have it store the large amounts of palmitic acid in yet another sac.

Naphthenic acid is a bit trickier, as it is mainly produced during crude oil refining, and crude oil is generally found deep underground. However, your dragon has hope: the Athabasca oil sands are a source of naphta-rich crude oil that is close to the surface. It's not unreasonable to think that the dragons hang out near exposed pockets of oil sands, using chunks of it as gizzard stones to help digest food. Some bilogical mechanism would separate out the naphta, give it some oxygen, and store the resultant naphthenic acids in their palm oil sacs to create the gel.

In summary:

The bacteria's sulfuric acid and yeast's ethanol would definitely be an annoying, if not very lethal, poison when separate. When combined, they will produce a short-range burst of flame(if ignited somehow). When combined with the palmitic/naphthenic, it will shoot out as a sticky stream(or glob, your choice) of flame than will burn until it is out of fuel.

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    $\begingroup$ Alternatively, it could simply synthesise the naphthenic acid from it's diet. A benzene ring with an organic acid link at one end shouldn't be too hard for a fantastic creature to create; if it has a diet rich in aromatic compounds. Or possibly, it has microorganisms in a specific part of its body that produce naphthenic acid precursors as a byproduct $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Mar 10, 2018 at 5:17

Acetone + slug slime

I lifted part of my answer to your other question

Methane Dragons

Vertebrates do not make alkanes. Better yet would be a volatile flammable liquid which actually is produced in animals. I propose acetone.. It is a liquid with a low vapor pressure. A Bronx cheer breath weapon of acetone droplets would turn into a sweet cloud of flame. Enthalpy of combustion is double that of methane (though lower than propane). Acetone is in animals, produced by ketogenic fat metabolism - even humans normally make small quantities of acetone. Plus it has that great smell of nail polish remover.

And super tenacious adhesive slug slime! A mix of biologic polymers.


For a glue that holds up inside the body, turn to the humble slug, Arion subfuscus. A new super-sticky material mimics slug slime’s ability to stick on slick wet surfaces and could lead to more effective medical adhesives.

A slime "hydrated" in part with acetone would still be slimy. As the acetone burned it would dehydrate the slime which being long chain carbons would also burn energetically - much like the large hydrocarbons in napalm fuel the fire.


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