Footage posted to YouTube has ignited online debate as people argue over whether it shows a dragon soaring through the air.
“Dragon” video becomes online sensation
Over 5 minutes in length, the video purportedly shows a dragon flying near mountains close to the China-Laos border. In Chinese culture, the dragon is seen as a mystical, majestic creature, and the footage has sparked a lot of excitement among Chinese netizens.
However, many people have questioned whether the footage really shows the creature. Another competing theory is that the creature is, in fact, a flying dinosaur.
Now it’s not my place to get into whether a dragon or a flying dinosaur is the more likely explanation. Let’s just say that both are quite unlikely.
However, the person who filmed the video asks whether the creature is a “dragon or pterodactyl,” which provides an explanation for the speculation. However, pterosaurs were flying reptiles that scientists believe suffered extinction around 66 million years ago.
Dragon, dinosaur or drone?
Opinion seems to be split on whether the creature is a mythical creature or a dinosaur. Other commenters believe that the video is a fake.
“It’s a cell phone device camera, so it’s pan focused and can’t focus on particular object,” wrote Li Zeng.
Other users have spoken out about potential conspiracy theories surrounding the footage. At least one person believes that the “dragon” is, in fact, a drone.
“I’ve read some articles about how scientists and engineers have combined knowledge and discovered the natural movement and aerodynamics of a bird so perhaps they have tried to replicate it on a machine,” wrote s6ef4enko.
To my mind, this is a better explanation than the appearance of a mythical creature or a long-extinct dinosaur. Scientists have long been inspired by nature when building machines, and a drone that mimics the mechanics of bird flight would be a very interesting device.
As with many things on the internet it is impossible to know what is going on. For now let’s just enjoy the video, although it might get a bit old before the full five minutes is up.