Land of Dragons

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Land of Dragons

An island enveloped in mist receives the new day... south of the continent of Asia. This is just one of the over 20,000 islands stretching from Asia to Australia but its interior holds mysteries which have astonished scientists for generations.

When the first European explorers came to the Indonesian archipelago, at the start of the 16th century, they could hardly believe their eyes. There before them lay new world of impenetrable jungles and erupting volcanoes - a world of darkness and mystery. Nature seemed to have lost her senses in this distant land. There they've found plants that fed on animals and fish able to remain out of water without perishing.

Each fresh discovery brought a new mystery. Three hundred years later, at the start of the 20th century, a pilot whose plane had crashed into the sea managed to swim ashore on one of these islands. When the rescue team managed to find him the man appeared to have lost his senses. Delirious, he claimed that the island was inhabited by gigantic lizards which devour the natives. Without realizing it those men had ventured into the "land of dragons."

During the glaciation of the Pleistocene era the polar ice caps increased in size and the level of the sea fell. Some islands remained isolated while others became joined to the continent. Java was one of these. Once the glaciation was over, the sea returned to its original level and Java once more became an island cut off from mainland Asia.

From that time on its fauna and flora took different evolutionary roads from those of the continent. Roads which would lead to the creation of legendary creatures. Its isolation and inaccessibility of its jungles shrouded the island in mystery. The rare visitors from the continent returned with strange stories telling of unfamiliar animals. The tales spread, were modified and exaggerated and by the time they reached distant Europe they had became fabulous legends of mythological creatures.

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39 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bringmeredwine

    What a beautiful doc. (I still want to call videos "films").
    I really enjoyed just sitting back and watching the sea life and the other creatures do their thing.

  2. 1concept1

    either way "video or film" it was an exceptionally beautiful doc., I agree (:-0)

  3. dewflirt

    Is it wrong that while watching this beautiful film on the glories of nature, my mind was pretty much filled with images of James Mason? I blame the narrator. I then found myself wondering how awkward it would be if men were to follow in the footsteps of the fiddler crabs, if they grew ridiculously large appendages and waved them hopefully at passing women . Maybe someone ought to tell those poor crabs about sports cars... ;)

  4. bringmeredwine

    Some of the fiddler crabs actually did remind me of certain men:D (I'm rather fond of men, by the way!)

  5. dewflirt

    Haha! Mr Big Hand? I like men too, one of my favourite sexes ;)

  6. jackmax

    I could watch documentaries like this all day. This film shows us how beautiful our planet is and why we should do everything in our power to ensure our future generation can enjoy the beauty we are so lucky to be a part off.

  7. Jack1952

    He certainly does sound like James Mason. I kept picturing Mason as Captain Nemo while watching this film. Maybe I shouldn't have read the comments before watching the video.

  8. Jack1952

    Daffy Duck..."I'm a fiddler crab. Why don't you shoot me? It's fiddler crab season." This always cracked me up and every time I see a fiddler crab in a doc I think of Daffy Duck.

  9. Jack1952

    Beautiful doc. Love this kind of stuff. Those Komodo dragons sure are nightmarish creatures. I love the underwater scenes, especially.

  10. bringmeredwine

    "No! It's wabbit season!" Lol

  11. dewflirt

    Living 20 thousand leagues under the sea really knocked the Yorkshire out of the lad. Hope my comment didn't get in the way of your enjoyment :)

  12. Imightberiding

    I think men do follow the same path. Before i finished reading your comment, sports cars was one of many things that sprung to mind. The crabs don't need them but it would appear that many men do.

  13. terencegalland

    not a place for adventurous curious kids to live, imagine stumbling into one of those dragons awful!

  14. junior347

    Nice doc but I don't find these monsters "beautiful" like everyone else seems to. What a horrendous way to die - having a deadly bacteria invade every cell of your body as you writhe in horrible pain for several days until finally being devoured alive by these devils. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing when some animals go extinct. They are not all sacrosanct by their very existence. Most people would probably say it's a good thing that we don't have to worry about being snatched out of our beds by a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex, for instance.

  15. bringmeredwine

    And a big wad of cash!

  16. bringmeredwine

    I think the komodos are ghastly creatures too. I'd have a heart attack if I was plunked on that island.
    But I would never wish to see one dead.
    They have a purpose in nature or they wouldn't exist, but I have no idea what it is!

  17. jackmax

    Without the checks and balances creatures like the Komodo dragons bring to our eco system we possibly would not be able to enjoy the other creatures that inhabit these beautiful islands.
    I think you would find that man and the species introduced by man would be doing more damage to these beautiful islands than these pre historic like animals have done.
    I think your ideas that we would be better off without these amazing animals is narrow minded and extremely un-aware of the importance assets these great reptiles are to enhancing our knowledge of our past and possibly by learning about their incredible durability to survive where others have failed, they may hold the keys to help prevent other extinction from occurring in the future. We have very few remaining animals dating back to the pre historic era such as the saltwater crocodile and the komodo dragon. If you think that we would be better off without these predators where do you stand with the other great predators such as tigers, lions and sharks just to name a few?

  18. jackmax

    I think their purpose is to clean the ground of any dead or dying animals that may cause many different deceases or illnesses that could possibly spread and wipe out the many hundreds of life form that is present in those beautiful islands.

  19. bringmeredwine

    Yes. But they make vultures seem downright cuddly in comparison.

  20. junior347

    I think animals that cause excessive pain and suffering to their prey might not be a good match for the modern world, and that might include wolves too (and I know a lot of people think these animals are somehow more important than people but I don't agree). I heard a woman who lived in a area in which wolves were reintroduced talking about how she could hear the sound of a moose screaming in pain while being eaten alive by a wolf pack over the course several days. They turn a peaceful nature preserve into a place of savagery and we don't need more savagery in this world. She thought it was terrible idea to bring back the wolves. There were some good reasons people had for killing them in the first place. Roving bands of intelligent predators who eat their prey alive is not something you really want to have around children. Big cats, on the other hand, kill their prey quickly and *relatively* painlessly. I know people have a knee-jerk reaction against these ideas because they conflict with the kind of ecological propaganda we are constantly fed and which originates from elites who actually do prefer wild nature to human societies the density of which they want to reduce drastically.

  21. jackmax

    I agree, however one could say that there are some ugly people walking this great planet of ours and I'm not just talking about visual when I say ugly.

  22. bringmeredwine

    So true. Human beings have been known to rip each other apart, limb from limb, not for survival but out of hatred.
    My heart swelled for humanity again when I heard the roar of Russian spectators cheering for the lone Ukrainian flag bearer, at the Sochi Paralympics today:)

  23. jackmax

    Maaate,

    I don't think having a 100kg plus cat jumping on my back holding on by using his claws whilst biting with a set of canines teeth into your back would be deemed "relatively" painless.

    Have you studied the effects on the natural world your "modern world" has achieved so far.
    Our rainforests disappearing at a rate of approximately 80,000 acre per day, which equates to about the lose of 135 plants, animals and insects per day. Without these forest the effect on the quality of our air we need to survive in horrifying.

    I sorry but that wolf story is very hard to believe especially considering the eating habits of these animals is to eat the intestines and the internal organs first.

    These predators have an extremely vital role in ensuring deceased, sick, lame and/or injured animals are reduced so the stronger survive and prosper.

    How is it that the natives from these areas understand the importance of these creature yet some outsider that has watched a few documentaries or read a couple of books can say it is ecological propaganda.

    It appear that you could learn the importance of these predators from the local tribes and communities that live in these areas.

  24. jackmax

    I have not been following the games, however I must say you put a smile on my face when reading your reply..:)

  25. jackmax

    Why the turn around with your first statement that " Big cats, on the other hand, kill their prey quickly and *relatively* painlessly." to you don't think would be "relatively" painless. Can you see your own contradiction...

  26. docoman

    Wow, that link you supplied is very badly thought through and written. While reading it can be seen the authors 'slant', who he is really 'protecting'. Farmers livestock. It actually contradicts itself multiple times, and uses the same information in it's "misconceptions" both ways.
    For example, in 'misconception 2', it tries to make the point there are no subspecies of wolves. Says scientists can't tell them apart, therefore it shouldn't be on the 'endangered list' for that reason. Then in 'misconception 4' it starts listing different subspecies.. the "Custer Wolf", "Aquilia Wolf" and "Three Toes of Harding County Wolf". It also mentioned the "Northen Rocky Mountian Wolf" and the "Mexican Wolf" in no.1. Not to mention their own source disagrees with their conclusion.

    From that link;
    "The obsolete subspecies classification used to promote wolf recovery is based on the book, THE WOLVES OF NORTH AMERICA, by Stanley P. Young and Edward A. Goldman,published in 1944. In that book, Young and Goldman stated there were 24 subspecies of gray wolf based on their research which included weight, skull measurements, tooth placement and hair color.(9) Their subspecies listings were based upon averages and trends in a geographic areas.(10)

    With the advancement of modern science and biology, such subspecies listings are no
    longer consider [sic] accurate, particularly with the development of statistical analysis and other modern taxonomic methods.(11)

    Yet, even with such advancement, subspecies distinction is ultimately determined by man. "It has been said that species are created by God, but that other
    taxonomic categories, including subspecies, are devised in the human mind...
    Two workers may arrive at two quite different arrangements of subspecies."(12)

    Dr. David Mech, renowned wolf biologist, agrees, "Subspecies are nothing more than a local form of the wolf. Current thinking is there are only about five subspecies of North American Wolf. Even this idea should be viewed cautiously because even scientists could not tell them apart."(13)"

    Firstly, any supposed 'research' paper that resorts to quoting absurd statements about 'God' like that is rediculous and deserves to be treated as such. That is not science research, that's 'myth and legend'. ;) Not to mention the later emotional appeal about the little girls dog.

    And derrr, what do they think 'sub-species' means, if they're not "a local form of wolf."

    Do you really believe that scientists can't pick out the difference between the "Three toed wolf" and others that have 4?

    Notice how even his source says there is 5 sub-species... which negates their misconception no. 2, and their claims.

    Also notice how they substitute the term 'workers' for 'scientists' or 'biologists' when it suits? 'Slight of hand' wording like that doesn't inspire confidence, it does the opposite.

    And as for the part you quoted, misconception no. 8. Hmm, they claim no.4 backs that up, when in fact parts of it don't, it does the exact opposite.

    From no.4;
    "Barry Lopez, in the introduction of his book, OF WOLVES AND MEN, recounts an episode
    of dogs killed by wolves in the Goldstream Valley in Alaska. Mr. Lopez comments, "Goldstream Valley is lightly settled and lies on the edge of an active wolf range, and that winter wolves got into the habit of visiting homes and killing pet dogs. A dog owner wouldn't hear a sound but the barking and
    growling of his dog. Then silence. He would pass a flashlight beam through the darkness and see nothing. In the morning he would find the dog's collar or a few of its bones stripped of meat. The wolves would have left behind little else but their enormous footprints in the snow." Lopez recalls the toll
    something like 42 dogs killed that one winter.(22)

    If they leave behind little more than footprints or a collar, maybe a few bones stripped of meat, how can they then claim that backs up the assertion about lingering deaths?

    There is also footage easily found online of lions doing similar things to buffalo in Africa, chewing on them to wear them down, eating them while they're still alive. Which puts a 'spanner in the works' with your claims about big cats v's wolves.

    That link is a very badly thought out and poorly written 'crock o' sh1t' mostly. Very poor logic, contradictions and 'double-dipping' of information. He should have sorted out his cherry-picking better, and not tried to use some both ways. I'd bet if you followed up on the funding for that 'research', you'd find farming interests behind it.

  27. junior347

    Such nitpicky bs. A few seconds of pain is *relatively* painless compared to days of unrelenting pain. duh!

  28. jackmax

    Have you ever seen a big cat attack if so how could you come up with a "few
    seconds of pain" . It may pay to investigate your claim of days of unrelenting pain if your referring to the komdo dragon.

    Here's an extract from National Geographic that may help you..

    Animals that escape the jaws of a Komodo will only feel lucky briefly.
    Dragon saliva teems with over 50 strains of bacteria, and within 24 hours, the stricken creature usually dies of blood poisoning. Dragons calmly follow an escapee for miles as the bacteria takes effect, using their
    keen sense of smell to hone in on the corpse. A dragon can eat a whopping 80 percent of its body weight in a single feeding.

    Have you ever work with these wonderful creature or are you going on what you have seen in this documentary?

    I have work with the komodo dragon for a period whilst working at a zoo
    and because of that and my own personal interest, I have studied reptiles and in particular the monitor lizard family and crocodile family which can be dated back to the dinosaur era. I think being able
    to study these great creatures from the past can only enhance own
    knowledge of how we may be able to sustain a viable future for many
    living creatures that are currently living on our wonderful planet including our own.

  29. Rodney Bresch

    I enjoyed the narration and music. But for all i care, they could cut any additional audio tracks all together and show me the rest of the raw footage that went to "waste", and that would be just fine by me. I def loved this doc.

  30. Rodney Bresch

    Very interesting about leaving the remains as sacrifices in a sense. The theory that one of the main reasons we began to sacrifice people to the gods, was due to the recognition that when a person falls while being hunted...everyone else generally gets away. So, we began to feed the "beast" regularly. I think they were alluding at if not directly saying the larger komodos might have been fed virgins for this very reason.

  31. happyMephisto

    The most tyrannical animal that has ever lived is the one that should know the difference between right and wrong,and the ability to choose its course of action.

  32. bringmeredwine

    You worked with Komodos, that's fascinating!
    I could have sworn I've seen a video, where Komodos turned on one another while vying for a piece of a dead (or dying?) animal.
    They started eating each other, It was horrifying to watch!
    Therefore, I was surprised by how "cooperative" the dragons were in this doc.

  33. bringmeredwine

    I'll pass! I can't watch how wolves bring down prey either. I fiercely love the big cats and wolves though.

  34. AntiTheist666

    G’day mate

    Well said, I couldn’t agree more. I thoroughly enjoyed the doco, thanks for the recommendation.

  35. jackmax

    G'day 6s

    I'm glad you enjoyed the doco, I have a soft spot for both the salty and the dragon. As I said we could learn much from these animals and we should protect them as much as possible in my opinion. I think most people take the natural world for granted for the most part and they only think about the cute and cuddly animals rather than the one that may hold many answers to some of the question that have been circulating for many years.
    I have the opinion that there may even be solutions to some medical/health problems that are present today if we were to study them as much as we study other creatures and plants we have through out our world.

  36. AntiTheist666

    G’day Jackmax

    Good points well made, I to love all animals, especially the tasty ones.

  37. jackmax

    G'day 6s

    I have to agree there is nothing more enjoyable than a nice juicy steak.
    I must admit I've eaten croc before as well as goanna and snake. Of course I also eaten emu and kangaroo.

  38. AntiTheist666

    G’day J

    Mucho respecto dude, that’s quite a list, you really do LOVE animals! I’ll advance your emu and kangaroo against my squirrel and hedgehog, this in the Land of Dragons remember. We learnt long ago that incinerating and eating each other wasn’t conducive to being happy bunnies!!

  39. LoggerheadShrike

    You do not have to worry about being snatched out of your bed by anything in this day and age ... unless arrogance and entitlement leads you to make your bed, of all the places in the world, in one of the tiny homelands of the few remaining large predators on this planet. Likely a small, remote corner of a small, remote country.

    Besides it's not like we're any better when it comes to making things suffer in horrendous ways (including other human beings).

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