Dragons in the Tibet Sky
A photo of two peculiar dragon-shaped objects taken from a plane flying over Tibet’s Himalayas piqued many users’ interest when displayed on a Chinese website. The photographer is an amateur.
On June 22, 2004, the photographer went to Tibet’s Amdo region to attend the Qinghai-to-Xizang Railroad laying ceremony, and then took a plane from Lhasa to fly back inland. When flying over the Himalayas, he accidentally caught these two “dragons” in a picture that he took. He called these two objects “the Tibet dragons.”
Looking at the photo, these two objects appear to have the characteristics of crawling creatures: The bodies seem to be covered by scales, the backs have spine-like protuberances, and also they have gradually thinning rear ends. Although the photo caught only a portion of the entire scene, it was sufficient to create the appearance of two gigantic dragons flying in the clouds.
This photo, shown on some websites such as post.baidu.com and other forums, aroused the website visitors’ curiosity. One person commented, “No wonder that China is the homeland of the dragon! Nature is truly mysterious and powerful, it can always produce spectacular sights beyond people’s expectations.”
“Is it really true? Is it possible there is an ancient civilization that we don’t know about preserved in places that are sparsely populated?”
“It really looks like the dragons in fables, and I really hope it is.”
Certainly, most website visitors hoped that someone could confirm the authenticity of the dragons in the photo.
In Chinese fairy tales, the dragon is a kind of rare heavenly creature. Fables say that it can conceal or reveal itself. It ascends to heaven in the spring breeze and dives and hides in deep water in the autumn wind. It can promote clouds and bring about rain. It also became the symbol of imperial authority later on; all emperors of previous dynasties self-designated as dragons, utensils were also decorated with dragons.
Culturally, the dragon is the Chinese ancestors’ totem. Nearly all races in China had fables and stories with dragons as the main subject, such as dragon boat races, the dragon lantern dance to celebrate holidays, sacrificial offerings to the dragons to implore timely wind and rain for good crops.
Whether this kind of creature really exists is still an unsolved riddle. In the previous dynasties in China, there had been many documents recording eyewitness accounts of magical dragons. The most amazing events are the various “falling dragons,” dragons that suddenly fell to the ground under peculiar circumstances, and were witnessed by many. A relatively recent tale occurred in the puppet Manchuria regime in August, 1944. A black dragon fell to the ground at the Chen Family’s Weizi Village, about 9.4 miles northwest of Zhaoyuan County, on the south shore of the Mudan River (the old name of a section of Songhua River) in Heilongjiang province. The black dragon was on the verge of death. The eyewitness said that this creature had a horn on its head, scales covering its body, and had a strong fishy smell that attracted numerous flies.
The records from previous dynasties also mentioned the connection between the emergence of these kinds of mysterious creatures, “dragons,” and the transition of dynasties on earth. The appearance of Tibet’s magical dragon invites our curiosity and imagination.