A striking photograph circulating on social media has left many in awe of the natural wonders of our world. This mesmerizing image appears to depict a mythical dragon, gracefully winding its way through the Portuguese landscape. However, this is no mythical beast but a genuine aerial view of the Odeleite River reservoir in southern Portugal.
While the photograph might lead one to believe in the existence of a dragon dwelling beneath the water’s surface, it’s crucial to clarify that this body of water is more accurately described as a reservoir. This breathtaking snapshot initially surfaced on Reddit, posted by user u/docious in September 2015. According to the Reddit user, the photograph was taken during a flight between Amsterdam and Marrakech, offering a unique perspective on the Portuguese terrain.
The image has since gained popularity on social media, and it’s not the first time the Odeleite River reservoir has been likened to a dragon. This nickname, the “Blue River Dragon,” seems to have originated in 2010 when photographer Steve Richards posted a similar image on Flickr under the title “The Blue Dragon.”
Richards, too, faced skepticism from those who questioned the authenticity of his photograph. He explained on his Flickr page that the striking colors were achieved through photo editing, enhancing the natural beauty of the scene captured during his flight.
In his words, “For the record, it IS a photograph, of a real place, that I took on our flight from Cardiff to Faro. The blue color is from the water reflecting the sky, and the white flecks are, of course, the clouds. The striking colors are thanks to running the original picture through Topaz Adjust 4.”
This breathtaking reservoir was formed in 1998 by the construction of a dam on the River Odeleite. Nestled in the municipality of Castro Marim in the Algarve region, this reservoir is fed by the River Odeleite, which originates in the uplands of the Serra do Caldeirão and eventually flows into the Rio Guadiana.
The unique shape of the reservoir, resembling a dragon, holds a special significance. In Chinese culture, the dragon symbolizes power, strength, and good luck, a revered emblem traditionally associated with emperors throughout history. As a result, this remarkable feature has drawn the fascination of many visitors, leading to its fondly coined nickname, the “River of the Blue Dragon.”
This captivating testament to nature’s artistry reminds us of the boundless wonders that our world has to offer, even in the most unexpected corners. The “Blue River Dragon” of Portugal stands as a testament to the beauty and diversity of our planet, captivating all who have the privilege to behold it.