Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia
© Thrithot/Adobe Stoc
Here there be dragons
Welcome to Komodo National Park, founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon—a monitor lizard that evolved in this insular environment to be much larger-'scale' than its fellows. Found only on the islands we see here—Komodo and Padar—and a handful of others nearby, it's the biggest lizard walking the Earth today. Not only walking but sprinting: Since adult Komodo dragons often prey on swift Timor deer, you'll sometimes see a dragon in a dead sprint after its would-be dinner, reaching up to 20 kilometres an hour.