Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids: Mythic Creatures exhibition is on display at COSI in Columbus. © AMNH/D. Finnin
Photo: Robb McCormick Photography
Photo: Robb McCormick Photography

WORTH THE DRIVE: Monsters, dragons and unicorns take over COSI

A new exhibition at COSI explores mythical creatures and the science behind the stories. 

Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids: Mythic Creatures is a traveling exhibition between COSI and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. 

Dragon model This 17-foot-long dragon with a wingspan of over 19 feet guards the entrance to the exhibition.© AMNH/D. Finnin
Photo: Denis Finnin

Among the exhibits is a 120-foot-long Chinese dragon used in a parade in New York City’s Chinatown, a replica “Feejee mermaid,” created by sewing the head and torso of a monkey to the tail of a fish and a 10-foot-long unicorn. 


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Visitors will learn the stories behind Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, Big Foot, sea monsters and mermaids. 

Enormous apes are more than a myth. This reconstructed massive creature called the Gigantopithecusis an extinct primate—a very distant relative of humans that lived in southeast Asia for almost a million years, until perhaps as recently as 300,000 years ago.© AMNH/D. Finnin
Photo: Denis Finnin

“This exhibition combines mythical lore with scientific undercurrents, tracing the origins of these popular and fascinating fictional creatures and exploring the often factual inspiration behind them,” Dr. Frederic Bertley, COSI president and CEO, said in a press release. 

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“Through large scale models, real fossils and beautiful artwork, people of all ages will start to understand the intriguing stories behind these mythic creatures and their role throughout history in many cultures.” 

Kraken model This kraken, a mythical sea monster, has 12-foot-long tentacles that appear to rise out of the floor as if surfacing from the sea.© AMNH/D. Finnin
Photo: Denis Finnin

The exhibit also features models and replicas of preserved specimens from the American Museum of Natural History as well as cast fossils of prehistoric animals to investigate how they could have, through misidentification, speculation, fear or imagination, inspired the development of some legendary creatures. 

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WHAT: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids: Mythic Creatures 

WHERE: COSI, 333 W. Broad St., Columbus 

WHEN: Now through Sept. 2 

ADMISSION: $5, or $4 for members in addition to general admission. General admission is $25, or $20 for ages 2 to 12. Admission is free for museum members and children under 2. 

MORE INFO: www.cosi.org