Sophie Lester, who lives in Queensland, wrote a letter to staff at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation asking if they could design her a dragon, to be named ‘Toothless’ if it was a girl and ‘Stuart’ if it was a boy.

Beginning the letter ‘Hello lovely scientists’, she also added: ‘I would keep [the dragon] in my special green grass area where there is lots of space. I would feed it raw fish and I would put a collar on it. If it got hurt I would bandage it. I would play with it every weekend when there is no school.’

She also included a helpful drawing of what the dragon should like.

Perhaps predictably, staff were unable to help her, although they quickly responded on their website. In a statement, a spokesperson said: ‘We’ve been doing science since 1926 and we’re quite proud of what we have achieved. But we’ve missed something. There are no dragons.

‘Over the past 87-odd years we have not been able to create a dragon or dragon eggs. We have sighted an eastern bearded dragon at one of our telescopes, observed dragonflies and even measured body temperatures of the mallee dragon. But our work has never ventured into dragons of the mythical, fire-breathing variety. And for this, Australia, we are sorry.’

Image credit: YouTube