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Mystical creatures in unusual places

Dragons, Big Foot, sphinx and dinosaurs - the exhibit is a mix of real and legendary and our belief in the mystical. Our must see is the Pegasus in the Creatures of Air portion of the exhibit.

When you think Denver Museum of Nature and Science you probably don’t think chupacabras, bigfoot or mermaids. They aren’t exactly science, because, well, they only exist in the imagination.

. . . Until now! Kind of. Through September 7 the DMNS is displaying replicas, models and fossils of some of folklore’s most notorious characters in “Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Mermaids and Unicorns.”

A 17-foot dragon, a unicorn and some real extinct creatures that almost seem too cool to have ever been real guide guests through the history of mythic creatures and how they’ve shaped various aspects of culture.

“Human curiosity is insatiable when it comes to the creatures that have captured imaginations for thousands of years, so this is a different type of exhibition,” said George Sparks, President and CEO of the museum. “We will not only take a fun look at how science and ingenuity have solved many mysteries surrounding these beings but we will also have guests creating their own mythical animals and sharing personal experiences related to the realms between the real and the imaginary.”

There’s something about the unknown in depths of Scotland’s Loch Ness, the barren Himalayan mountain tops and unexplored forests of the Pacific Northwest that instinctively challenges us to answer the “what ifs.” What if there’s something out there we haven’t found yet? What if these creatures are really just hide-and-seek world champs? What if that distant outline of a furry, overgrown caveman was really the outline of a furry, overgrown caveman?

While these creatures may not be real, they’ve helped science evolve while creating some pretty entertaining stories. Narwhal tusks found in the North Sea were thought to prove the existence of unicorns, and ancient elephant skulls gave way to believing cyclops was real.

What do you think?

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Written by Kara Mason

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Kara Mason is PULP's news editor. She is also the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter president. Kara freelances for other regional publications, covering government, politics and the environment.

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