One of the most exciting places on the Earth, National park Komodo, worldwide known as the magnificent homeland of the Komodo dragons, is positioned in the area of the Lesser Sunda Islands and its name actually refers to three larger islands, which are Komodo, Rica, and Pada, as well as 26 tiny islets.
History of the place
This national park was founded in 1980 so that Komodo dragon, which is called Ora by native people (meaning terrestrial crocodile), can be protected from both legal and illegal hunters. As the time went by, the park was expanded in order to protect some other types of endangered animals of this area, as well. In 1991, this amazing place was declared the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, and later the Reserve of flora and fauna.
People of Komodo
The National Park of Komodo is not only the home of dragons but also the home of 1.200 people who live there, divided into four main settlements. They are mostly fishermen, but at the same time, they can be pretty experienced tourist workers and guides since they are the hosts for more than 45 thousand tourists who come to visit this spectacular place.
People who live on the islands of this dangerous national park have simply adapted to their wild scary neighbors – they have built their houses high above the ground, on the solid beams, to protect themselves from possible attacks.
Even though Komodo dragons rarely attack people, from time to time they can be seen in the native people’s settlements looking for food, and you should not try to approach them, since you can never know whether you can expect the attack or not. The truth is, they may attack people even when they are not provoked or hungry.
Occasionally it may happen for them to hurt or kill a native person, although people who live in this area treat them with respect and have never tried to put them in danger or attack them, because they believe that the Komodo dragons are reincarnations of their deceased friends and ancestors.
Dragons of Komodo
Forerunners of the mythical creatures?
Some mythology experts believe that this lizard was the inspiration for various mythological dragons that spit fire and kidnap the princesses and that all medieval dragon stories have their origins right there, on the island of Komodo. In the ancient times, when Chinese sailors were sailing through the waters which today belong to Indonesia, they were bringing the stories of the great beasts.
It is possible that they took them as the basis for various stories, and through the history, these stories were magnified by the Arab traders, and by the rest of the world, as well. Their yellow tongues and bad breath could have easily tricked tired Chinese sailors, who might have thought that these lizards were spitting fire.
However, the dragon is just one of the candidates for the original mythological dragon, and some of the experts reject its candidacy, based on the fact that Europeans did not even know that this animal exists until 1910.
Real life beasts!
The dragon, also known as Varanus komodoensis is the largest living lizard in the word. The largest lizard of this kind weighted more than 160 kilos and was 3.13 meters large. Because of its size and aggressive behavior, Komodo dragons have been surrounded by various myths and legends since ancient times.