That’s Latin for “Here be dragons.”
In case you’re wondering, “Hic fugiens scutellas” means “here be flying saucers.” I’m just all full of useful Latin, aren’t I? Thanks, Google.
But let’s go back to the dragons, shall we? I first saw “here be dragons” in a history book. You’ve probably seen it, too, and didn’t know what it meant. I remember looking at old maps of the world — the cartography incomplete and a little off, and seeing sea monsters and serpents drawn along the edges. I didn’t know what it meant, so in my curious-little-kid-with-a-huge-imagination-self I conjured up my own meaning, that the map-makers didn’t know what dangers lay beyond the safe boundaries of their maps.
How about that? I was actually pretty close. The cartographers didn’t know what wonders lay beyond their horizons, and used the dragon (or winged serpent) as a metaphor for the pagan world that was beyond their reach.
Kind of like looking at space and seeing little green men. But I digress.
I took this picture outside the Lego store at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA while at a conference. I used my iPhone, and added one of the black and white filters. Did I say the dragon is made entirely of Lego blocks? It’s amazing.
I loved the perspective. The dragon was backlit, and for a moment, I was in my curious-little-kid-with-a-huge-imagination-self that loved reading sci-fi and fantasy.
The dragon looked real, and became real in the picture. Perspective, as they say, is everything.