The Komodo Dragon. It’s the closest living relative to dinosaurs (no offense to all the grandpas out there.)
It can break your arm with its jaw, and its venom contains dozens of types of poison, which together will kill you within minutes if one of these gargantuan lizard things bites you.
We took a motorboat to Bintang Flores, in Komodo National Park, to see them.
We docked in what legitimately looked like the entrance to Jurassic Park, and were greeted by a park ranger, who would lead our day’s hike and defend us from the danger, which we learned in the last five years had killed two victims. A few years back a Komodo dragon wandered into a park ranger’s cabin and laid a fateful bite, killing the ranger in no time. Even more recently a young boy had run up to a sitting dragon (the dragons freely wander the park), and had received a Komodo bite. The boy died in minutes.
So what weapon did our trusty park ranger wield to fend off these poisonous dinosaurs, who wander freely in the park with no enclosures? A STICK. Yep. A wooden stick. And it wasn’t a walking stick. I asked him about it, and he said his stick was to defend against Komodos. A crappy stick vs. a 250-pound dinosaur. Indonesian weapons technology.
So tell us more about the Komodos, we asked the ranger.
Well, they are cannibals, they eat their young, and they are aggressive. Right.
Nevertheless, we wandered into the park, where the ranger encampment was located. Before we could blink we saw a group of tourists in the distance huddled around… a group of Komodos! Shit!
As we approached the huddled mass, we saw to our left a few other Komodos. Just hangout out, no big deal. Everywhere. Gargantuan lizards. One Komodo was huddled in the shade of a cabin and with intense ferocity was eating… a beach towel! The Komodo just absolutely inhaled a red beach towel. The whole thing.
We wandered the park, we came within 15 feet of the Komodos, and we survived. It was an indescribable feeling to wander through a place with a semi-legitimate feel that an animal might kill you. Ponder that.