Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, El Chupacabra - these mythical creatures are all part of the fascinating field of cryptozoology. Dealing with the legends of animals that should not (and possibly do not) exist, amateur and professional cryptozoologists have been trying to bring evidence of the supernatural to us for years. A lot of the time, proof of their existence is hard to come by, or even faked. But now new photos have surfaced of a creature they never thought possible: a real-life dragon...
The Photos Come Out
You couldn't have caused a bigger stir with naked pictures of Bieber. Out of nowhere last week, uploaded by a user in West Malaysia, came the surprising and kinda frightening images of a dragon, lying dead on the floor of someone's house. Sure, it doesn't look like the ones from Game of Thrones. But there's a difference: this one's 100% real...
It may be the first time that we have physical, photographic evidence of the existence of dragons, but it's not the first time we've heard of a tale like this. Just north of China, in Mongolia, two children disappeared in 2014 amidst eerie circumstances. Three separate witnesses claimed to have seen a small dragon, but without photos to back up their claims, it was never confirmed.
Either way, in both 2014 and this year, the mere appearance of a dragon was enough to cause a major media storm. The dragon is usually symbolic animal that stretches back thousands of years in Eastern culture, especially in China. Traditionally, it's understood that it's not a real animal, but a stand-in for virtues of strength, nobility, and courage. But this new evidence has changed all that...
In Asian Culture
The most iconic image of dragons in Asian culture have to be the dragon dance parades held every Chinese New Year. With up to a hundred men and women carrying the large head and long tail of a decorated, made-up dragon, its appearance is said to usher in prosperity and good fortune for the new year. Those said to be born under the dragon zodiac sign are said to be especially blessed.
The Meaning Of Nine
But the symbolism of the dragon goes even further beyond mere image. The number nine is also said to be strongly associated with the dragon. Early representations of dragons had nine different animal features: the head of a camel, eyes of a demon, neck of a snake, belly of a clam, claws of an eagle, soles of a tiger, ears of a cow, a lump on the head, and horns of a stag.
How Dragons Are Usually Represented
Not only that, but a traditional dragon is also meant to have exactly 117 scales: 13 times 9, in case you were wondering. 81 of those scales are yang - the positive side of the balance. The other 36 are considered ying, or negative, designed to balance out the inherent goodness but not overpower it.
The Reality Of Dragons
Say the word "dragon" and you'd immediately have an idea of them in your head. Huge, fierce, fire breathing. But as this incredible discovery proved, the reality is far different from the fiction. They are not 50 feet long, but more like 10. They aren't red and fiery, but rather white, pale, and weak. There's only one thing that they have in common with their ancestors: their appetite.
Hunted To Extinction?
While many scholars would claim that dragons simply never existed, others have a more likely explanation for their place in Asian culture and subsequent disappearance. Basically, like the woolly mammoth and dodo, they were just hunted to the point of extinction by early civilization. The stories remained, but the dragons didn't.
Surfacing In Malaysia
Well, they didn't until this year, when this incredible proof surfaced in Malaysia. It's not surprising, really, given the rich Chinese heritage that has been brought to the south-east Asian nation over the last two thousand years. Although parts are densely populated, there is still also a lot of wilderness left out there...
Just off the northwest coast lies the large island of Penang, where rumor has it these pictures were originally taken. The capital of Penang, Georgetown, is a chaotic and thoroughly human affair. But in the southwest corner of the island, nature rules. And that's where a farmer started to realize that something was killing off his animals...
The Farmer Fights Back
With his livestock being savaged every night, and his profits disappearing, the farmer decided to investigate the matter once and for all. So one night, he sat outside his property and waited. He thought it might be wolves or jaguars, but what came out of the jungle that night was unlike anything he'd ever seen. It went for one of his cows, and he shot it to death.
It wasn't actually him, but his neighbor who first delivered the news to Malaysian paper The Star. When they picked up on the story, though, the farmer instantly drew massive backlash from thousands of readers. They said that this beautiful symbol should be protected, not hunted, and that this hasty act may be a terrible omen...
Bad Luck, Buddy
The old stories of dragons and prosperity seem to have been more than just legends. You'd think that turning into a minor celebrity would bring in immense riches to the farmer, but it looks like the killing has turned his life upside-down. Since he shot the dragon, all of his livestock have died in mysterious circumstances, and his bank account was hacked and robbed.
Just One Of The Crazy Creatures Of This World
Like we said, the world of cryptozoology covers so much more than dragons. From Mokele-mbembe in Africa to Yowies in Australia, everyone has a claim to a mysterious creature, and many have photos. But nobody has proof, not like the photos that emerged last week. So can we believe that this really happened? Or was it an elaborately entertaining story, and nothing more?
Busting The "Hoax"
There has been one other person who is claiming that this story is not everything it's cracked up to be. That person, who has chosen to remain anonymous, is saying that the dragon that the farmer "shot" is nothing more than a painted model, and he has the molding casts to prove it. Which does throw it into doubt, except those molds don't look exactly the same.
Trending On CultureHook: