The Komodo dragon is a giant lizard, and relative to Megalania. It was once widely considered to not be real. Like many 'not real' cryptids today, it was widely known to exist by locals, and was sometimes seen by 'outsiders'.
By the early twentieth century, Western science had determined that giant lizards were nothing more than a relic of the prehistoric past. Thus, when pearl fishermen returned from the Lesser Sunda Islands, in Indonesia, with tales of monstrous “land crocodiles”, their accounts were met with overwhelming skepticism.
An expedition from the Buitenzorg Zoological Museum, in Java, produced a report of the creatures, but the legendary dragons of Komodo faded into obscurity as World War I took precedence.
The wider world was introduced to the Komodo Dragon, a massive monitor lizard that grows up to ten feet, when David Attenborough led an expedition by the BBC to capture one and bring it back, and to film them in the wild. These first dragons were surprisingly tame.