Two hundred miles off the coast of Yemen is the remote island of Socotra, where this umbrella-like otherworldly tree known as dragon’s blood tree is found. Pliny wrote about dragons inhabiting this island where the trees yielded red drops of cinnabar fungus, which was carved into jewelry and ornaments. Researchers have been trying for centuries to solve the mystery about the origins of the dragon’s blood, whether it came from the tree, or was a mineral from the earth. There is also an Indian legend about a fierce battle, where a dragon (or possibly a Makara which is a legendary sea dragon) bit an elephant and drank its blood. When the elephant fell to the ground, it crushed the dragon, turning the dragon into a pancake, while mixing the blood of both creatures to yield a resin-like substance and that red sap spewed out from the tree that grew there. The resin is believed to have magical and medicinal properties and people still use it as a pigment for art, and as a dye. Others have found therapeutic medical uses for the sap dripping from the dragon’s blood tree and it supposedly makes a good antidiarrhetic, that reduces production of stress hormones and increase the production of hormones or chemicals that makes one feel calm and happy.
Written for Stine Writing – Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!, Simply 6 Minutes hosted by Christine Bialczak.