January 28, 2014

Here Be Dragons

Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner, National Geographic

An adult Komodo dragon hangs out near Indonesia's Komodo village. With people living inside the dragon-protecting Komodo National Park and poorly marked boundaries for wildlife habitat, encounters with lizards are inevitable. Most end without injury.

See more pictures from the January 2014 feature story “Once Upon a Dragon.”

60 comments
Imam Yudia
Imam Yudia

Only at Komodo Island, East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia :) The island is one of new seven wonder of the world.

Shannon T
Shannon T

I suppose one gets used to seeing Komodos in this area but I think I would be terrified if I saw one.

Kaagaz Kalam
Kaagaz Kalam

This is amazing and if you look from another perspective it seems as if Godzilla is overlooking a small town ;)


Beautiful composition!

Sandra Hickman
Sandra Hickman

I think that this is such an amazing shot. The dragon surveying the people and town below. Although very dangerous - what a beautiful animal in its own unique way. The whole setting is really lovely with everything in focus far and near. Even the little flowers bringing colour into the photo. Wonderful shot.

Shane Hughes
Shane Hughes

I would have liked to seen this photo with less depth of field to see if it might make the Komodo dragon a little more prominent, since it's coloring is so close to that of the dirt around it, but then again you might lose too much detail in the landscape and town. Tough call.

mares cristian
mares cristian

the look on the dragon's face priceless..."i wonder what are they doing here" and i wonder what if i was to meet with this dragon in the wilderness what would i do to have the big lizzard waiting for you for the next move what should i do?

Michael Flaherty
Michael Flaherty

Haha!  Nice comp. and a lot of impact in this shot.  I was amazed at how much I had to watch out for myself when visiting Rinca.  I thought, they're leaving me to fend for myself.  So let me take a hike alone and see what I find.  And I found..dragons!  They gave me a good tip though:  don't be as afraid of the really huge ones; they're too slow.  Those younger, medium-sized ones are what you need to keep an eye on.

Joanne Dhody
Joanne Dhody

Great...but could a little richer in color

Tracy Shields-Buske
Tracy Shields-Buske

I think the little  purple flowers add a nice touch, ya know next to the huge reptile that could kill you

Raymond Mkichwe
Raymond Mkichwe

Scary! Can they be tamed? Normaly they bite their victims and they have bacteria laden saliva!

Janice H.
Janice H.

Awesome!       Amazing size and power.    

Joy Saldanha
Joy Saldanha

I can hardly believe this picture! The Comodo seems to be 'king of all it surveys' and thats a lot. A whole small village is spread out below this wonderous creature, in a wonderous shot.. Everything so in focus and clear, right upto the hills all 'round. The jetty is, for me a great focal point. j.e.s.  

TOM MARTIN
TOM MARTIN

I'd like to know what length lens Stefano used.

qing li
qing li

cannot believe it's true

Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Scott Wyden Kivowitz

Komodo Dragons are my favorite animals, and I think this photograph has made it to the top of my favorite photographs list of the creatures.

Fireflie Rain
Fireflie Rain

me encanta...una buena imagen con un buen angulo...

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