I did some research on electric dragons and found a post asking about it, in it there was a answer that mentioned an apparently chemical laser used to ionize the air and allow the electric discharge to pass and thus generate lightning. The laser is made of gaseous chlorine, molecular iodine, and an aqueous mixture of hydrogen peroxide and potassium hydroxide. However, how would an animal get this in nature and what would it take to store it?

I had forgotten to warn you about one thing: the creature doesn't need to emerge from evolution, so it doesn't need to have precursors, as long as everything is biological, not relying on magic or technology.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Might want to have a lot of bananas lying around $\endgroup$
    – Lemming
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 13:17
  • $\begingroup$ Bananas? What do you mean "bananas"? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 13:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Potasium of course :P $\endgroup$
    – Lemming
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ The chemical mixture is easy. The perfecly shaped and perfectly aligned mirrors are another thing entirely. Nature doesn't do perfect, you need advanced engineering for that. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP Some lasers are "superradiant" -- they'll amplify and emit without even one mirror, like a TEA air laser. If you don't want pulses from both ends, a single mirror is much easier to align and increases power from the emitting end. Not sure if an chlorine/iodine laser is in this class, though... $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Nov 17, 2021 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


The answer referenced in this question doesn't address the plausibility of evolving lasers in the first place. For a laser to appear in the anatomy of a species in a fully-functional state where no such organ existed in the previous generation is a probability so small as to be an impossibility.

In order for a laser to evolve, its less-evolved precursor organs must be of use. Eyes evolved from mere light-sensitive pits to modern eyes in steps, each step just a bit more useful than the last. Unfortunately, I can't think what precursors to a laser might be useful enough to evolve.

However, my lack of imagination shouldn't be taken to mean that biological lasers are an impossibility...

Now... to speculate on the gas inside the laser... a chlorine/ iodine/ hydrogen peroxide/ potassium hydroxide laser sounds quite toxic and difficult to produce, and there are better, more easily obtained gases with which to fill a laser, such as carbon dioxide.

Carbon dioxide has the advantage that it is produced as a byproduct of cellular respiration, so it will be readily available, and could do just as good a job of ionizing air as any other laser filled with a more exotic gas mixture.

While Helium is a common gas used in CO2 lasers, it is not strictly necessary, and the gas mixture may be carbon dioxide and nitrogen, both of which would be readily available and easy to store.

  • $\begingroup$ I forgot to say something in the post: it doesn't need to take evolution into account, it can create a hypothesis that creatures were created to be like that. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 8:04
  • $\begingroup$ So what would the complete composition of a laser be easier to obtain and store? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 8:05

Lasers require an energy source and a lasing medium. The lasing medium can be a gas or a crystal such as ruby. Being a dragon, a ruby makes a good story choice. The energy source can be chemical, but any source will do including magical. You could also imagine solar power, dragon wings capturing solar energy for eventual use in the laser. You would need a method of storing the energy. Possibly magic or perhaps some type of organic battery maybe based on carbon nano tubes. This would also limit how often the dragon could use the laser. After a couple of uses it has to recharge.


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