In most of their appearances in regional mythologies and legends, dragons represent tradition and ritual. They often are associated with creation stories and can take on benevolent or malevolent characteristics, depending on the region. Dragons and dragonlike creatures pervade legends and myths from nearly every culture, from Australia to India, and references to dragons can be found in ancient and modern literature alike. The dragon is often represented as the oldest of Earth’s residents, and sightings of sea serpents (such as the Loch Ness Monster) continue to this day.
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