新年快乐 (Happy New Year)
Yesterday, January 23, 2012 was the date for the start of the Chinese “Year of the Dragon.”
Yes, that’s correct. While the media will be remembering the sinking of the Titanic, the opening of the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park, and the Japanese gift of cherry blossoms to Washington, D. C., some of us will recall that it was in 1912 that the Komodo dragon reports by locals and tales by travelers were confirmed.
Komodo dragons were first documented by Europeans in 1910, when rumors of a “land crocodile” reached Lieutenant van Steyn van Hensbroek of the Dutch colonial government. The critical year became 1912, when Peter Ouwens, the director of the Zoological Museum at Bogor, Java, published a paper on the animal after receiving a photo and a skin from the lieutenant, as well as two other specimens from a collector. Yet another new species had been “discovered” by Western Science.
Also, it should be noted, 1912 was the year of the “discovery” of the Piltdown Man too.
Meanwhile in Boston, perhaps those celebrating the 100th birthday of Fenway Park will also note that the Dragon Tavern was the birthplace of the Boston Tea Party in this very American political year?
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon with a contribution to the International Cryptozoology Museum of a Komodo Dragon coin, if you have any, or perhaps merely by clicking here: