BRADENTON, Fla. — How did similar myths of dragons, mermaids and unicorn spread throughout the ancient world?
In part, fossils.
1. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton is host to "Giants, Dragons and Unicorns: The World of Mythical Creatures," through Jan. 5, 2020.
2. Ancient people had no knowledge of extinction or evolution, so a fossil was considered part of their current animal world. A massive mammoth thigh bone resembles a human femur; therefore, a massive human that hid from the world was an acceptable scientific conclusion.
3. The exhibition shows how dragon lore spread around the world: dinosaur skulls and megalodon teeth made for fanciful ideas that were remarkable similar from Great Britain to Japan.
4. Sea monsters like the Kraken are explained as giant squid, and mermaids? Manatees! The most magical being of all-- the Unicorn -- was possibly created as ancient people discovered narwhal teeth along the shore. (It looks like a horn, but it's really a tooth!)
5. "That was the best science they had available at the time," explained the museum's Remi Gonzalez. "What we are working with now in 2019 is the best science available at the time. But there’s still a lot we don’t know and maybe some that we have wrong."
What do you think we have wrong? (UNICORNS-- I HOPE!)