Giants, Dragons and Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures

A vibrant sculpture of a mermaid gazing into a mirror is set against a backdrop of blue swirls
*For Smaller Galleries*

A large model of a kraken sea monster with head and tentacles rising from the ground

The world is full of stories about brave heroes, magical events, and fantastic beings. Tales of mythic creatures have been with us for thousands of years, sometimes inspired by living animals or even fossils. Together, mythic creatures give shape to humankind’s greatest hopes and fears, and most passionate dreams.

This 2,000 sq ft traveling exhibition combines unique cultural objects, dramatic models, engaging multimedia, and interactive games to tell the origin stories behind the legends of mythical creatures from around the world. 

Exhibition Themes

Sea Monsters: Find out how real marine animals were mistaken for sea monsters.

Mermaids: Hear stories of half-fish, half-human sea creatures from around the world.

Unicorns, Griffins and Giants: See how discoveries of fossils may have fueled stories of mythical animals.

Dragons: Explore different cultural interpretations of dragons from the seventeenth century to the present day. 

A life-size model of a traditional European white unicorn standing on a rock
Inuit stone carving of the mermaid Sedna

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Giants, Dragons and Unicorns: The World of Mythic Creatures is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (