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Dragons are vicious monsters that take pleasure in killing people by burning them with hellfire in their throats that was given to them by the Devil himself so that they can destroy everything in their path. Well, at least that's how the common folk tend to see them, but in reality they're just animals and a young boy is determined to study them to understand them better, so he stole and hatched a dragon egg.

His dragon has two holes one on each side of the mouth from which an oil comes out that easily ignites in contact with fire or something equally hot. He also noticed that whenever his skin was in contact with the dragon neck when it spits fire a current flows through its body and causes a very painful shock; maybe this is how dragons light the oil to create the infamous fire breath.

The dragon only created fire to go hunting, when it felt threatened or when its "master" ordered it. From the age of four, when the dragon was little bigger than a dog, it started releasing sparks in the air from its mouth whenever it was happy - and it found that could control the sparks. It could release a flurry or a cloud of sparks as desired. Whenever it did it was a beautiful phenomenon to behold, especially at night under the starry sky and the silvery moonlight; maybe that's one of the reasons why the baby dragon does it.

The doubt that hung in the air along with the sparks was: How is that possible? Maybe it could be oil, but each drop of oil would start a chain reaction and create a cloud of fire. Or maybe it could be the shock current that originates in the neck, but doesn't seem to have enough power for that.

Leaving the context of the story

The aforementioned "current" is bioelectricity that can reach voltages of up to 1200. Dragons release a few droplets of oil into their mouths to create a flame and then shoot a blast of oil that ignites upon contact with the flame, all of this very fast and can take a maximum of 1 minute to perform the fire breath. As for oil, dragons get it from the fat of their prey. For the answer, just remember to make it as biologically plausible as possible; it doesn't need explanations involving evolutionary theory, but the dragon has to be flesh and blood without metallic or even robotic things.

As for the world in which the story takes place, the best way to explain it would be to say that it takes place before any industrial revolution, that is, no steam engines, electricity, etc. My dragons don't have any flint and steel, this is not part of their anatomy. The secret of their sparks has to come from what was presented in the post.

Why do people think that lighter answers my question? Guys, my dragon is not a lighter, the sparks have to come from what was presented in the post, with no changes to the anatomy, i.e, no flint and no steel.

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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Flint tongue and steel teeth for dragons? It's worth mentioning that your question as written is a virtually unreadable wall-of-text, most of what's written is not relevant to the issue. Please keep the volume down and try to make it user-friendly in future. $\endgroup$ Jan 26 at 7:06
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    $\begingroup$ Please consider using more paragraph breaks. That's a big wall'o'text to climb up. $\endgroup$ Jan 26 at 10:36
  • $\begingroup$ No, that's not part of my dragon's anatomy. $\endgroup$ Jan 26 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ @WizardKing thanks for your new question ! When you consider electricity in your design.. the spark needs not be so big, with the right mix of fuel in the mouth. Have you considered a different cause for the shock felt ? At first glance, I think the electricity felt by the boy has to do with the organ needed for spitting the oil out. A dragon needs a quite energetic little toric muscle to do that, and it involves oscillations (see previous answer) the electricity may have originated from the spine in the neck, going into this "oil pumping" muscle up front. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Jan 26 at 20:52
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    $\begingroup$ Do pay attention to the caloric requirements of a fire breath. Oil from fat is definitely biologically plausible, but assuming it produces said oil at the same weight as kerosene (commonly used for flamethrowers) you're looking at around 35,000 Calories per gallon. Using it will make him a hungry little fellow. $\endgroup$
    – Perkins
    Jan 26 at 21:04

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If these sparks are persisting in the air beyond the dragon's mouth, and are not simply a high-voltage electric arc, then it is likely that the sparks are indeed caused by the same oil as its flame.

The difference between the sparks and an all-out flame would be that a flame would involve a continuous release of oil, while the sparks would be intermittently released drops of oil. Both would involve a rapid flow of air past the oil glands.

In order to have sparks rather than a flame, it would have to be possible for the dragon to control the amount of oil released more finely than a simple open/closed valve. The oil would also need to be relatively viscous. Viscous oil would be an advantage in that it would allow a longer-ranged flame, allowing droplets to be propelled a significant distance while burning.

This control would allow a short-ranged, wide, hot flame by spraying oil forcefully, releasing small, rapidly burning droplets that would almost be an aerosol. Longer-ranged flame would involve larger droplets. Sparks might be medium to large droplets released slowly.

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    $\begingroup$ As to higher viscosity: the stuff in the tanks of a conventional flame thrower is kind of jelly like, good answer. +1 $\endgroup$ Jan 26 at 16:21
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Spark + Oil spray

For fire breathing, you need a spark and then throw a spray of oil on it with a strong blow.

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Biology : Eels create electric currents, Cobras spit venom

The electric eel generates large electric currents by electricity-producing cells packed into a specialized electric organ.

Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) spits venom with great accuracy up to a distance of 3 meters.

Our dragon

The dragon can create an electric spark in its teeth similar to eel, and then throw a spray of oil stored in a bag like venom sprayed by some snakes.

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  • $\begingroup$ But isn't that going to create a blast of fire instead of a stream of sparks in the air? $\endgroup$ Jan 26 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ @WizardKing What is a stream of sparks but poorly aerosolized stream of flaming oil? Maybe the aerosolization doesn't really work unless the dragon expels a certain volume of oil. $\endgroup$
    – PipperChip
    Jan 26 at 19:50
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Have it work the same way a sparkler does. The key ingredients are a metallic powder of aluminum, iron, titanium or magnesium (or some combo) and an oxidizer to accelerate the reaction. Iron and magnesium are readily available in many areas. The oxidizer components less-so but still available to some degree.

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    $\begingroup$ What would these oxidizing components be? $\endgroup$ Jan 26 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ @WizardKing nitrate compounds and iron oxides would all be biologically available. $\endgroup$
    – Perkins
    Jan 26 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ @WizardKing - Potassium Nitrate (salt peter, also a component of gun powder) extacted from bat guano, barium nitrate or strontium nitrate also work. Also potassium or amonium perchlorate. Those are less readily available. I would recommend going with the first option as it's readily available in caves that have long-term bat populations. $\endgroup$ Jan 27 at 14:23
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Antimatter contained in grains of sand.

..another solution for the dragon's spark popped up on WB today: suppose the dragon is able to find certain minerals, that can embed antimatter in their crystal.. dragons have a good nose for these things. The dragon only has to chew some grains of sand, and out come the sparks. You won't need much.. a nanogram already gives too much energy.. guess a a few anti-particles contained in the silicon lattice would be sufficient, to generate a little spark..

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