Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids

Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids traced the natural and cultural roots of some of the world’s most enduring mythological creatures from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and beyond.

Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids featured models and replicas of preserved specimens 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.  Visitors discovered how narwhal tusks from the North Sea, introduced to continental Europe by Scandinavian traders, lent credence to the centuries-old belief in the unicorn. Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids is great for all ages



Visitors touched casts of a narwhal tusk, the lower jaw of Gigantopithecus, and a life-size reproduction of the talon of a Haast’s eagle.  Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids offered many interactive stations throughout the exhibition. Visitors built their own dragon on an engaging touch-screen and watched it come alive before their eyes in a virtual environment. This amazing exhibition included imaginative models, paintings, and textiles, along with other cultural objects from around the world.

This exhibit brought light to surprising similarities and differences in the ways people around the world have been inspired by nature to envision and depict these strange and wonderful creatures. 

Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org), in collaboration with the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney; Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau-Quebec; Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta; and The Field Museum, Chicago.

This exhibit ran from November 11, 2017 through May 20, 2018. 

This exhibit was brought to you by the citizens of Kent County and the voter approved 2016 millage.

Thank you to our sponsors! 


David & Carol Van Andel Family Foundation
The Steve & Amy Van Andel Foundation




Harder & Warner 
Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation
Lighthouse Group
Media Place Partners 


Adventure Credit Union
Chris & Kim Branoff
Grand Rapids Griffins
The Jant Group
The Knickerbocker – New Holland Brewing 
Spectrum Health

Additional Support

Country Fresh 

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