Beginning on Oct. 8, Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants will introduce audiences to "rare, giant freshwater fish from around the world" with an interactive exhibition featuring five life-size sculptures, videos, and hands-on experiences.
The exhibit, developed by National Geographic, is inspired by the television show Monster Fish, now in its seventh season on the channel Nat Geo WILD. The series follows the exploits of aquatic ecologist Dr. Zeb Hogan as he seeks out “bizarre giants of the water, specimens equally enormous in proportion and odd in appearance," says a press release.
About 20 different species of monster fish, all of which have been extensively studied by Hogan, will be highlighted.
“This fascinating exhibition is a trip around the world with one of National Geographic’s Explorers in search of bizarre and extraordinary species of freshwater fish,” says Kathryn Keane, National Geographic’s vice president of public experiences. “Zeb Hogan shows us that despite their size, these fish are an increasingly fragile link in some of the most important freshwater ecosystems on Earth.”
The exhibit will feature "several interactive elements and games designed to provide visitors with opportunities to learn about how monster fish grow; how scientists study them; and how anglers and others can help these fish survive."
Included are a fish-inspired obstacle course and a classic fishing game complete with magnetic poles. Groups can also step on a large scale to see how they stack up to the exhibit's scaly beasts.
Additionally, guests can "board" a model boat to watch view five video shorts featuring Hogan talking about his research.
In addition to highlighting the biology of each species, the museum promises that Monster Fish will leave visitors with a "greater understanding of the connection between humans and fish by depicting the "cultural ties between the fish and local people," covering everything from "mythical tales and storied traditions to threats and conservation efforts."
Sarah Crawford, the museum's director of exhibitions, says Monster Fish “supports the museum's commitment to explore the interconnectedness of life on Earth.”
“The story of these fascinating fish has become so intertwined with that of humans,” Crawford says in a press release. “From sport fishermen as environmental stewards to scientists who seek to research and protect the fish. For thousands of years, people have been fascinated by these freshwater giants, as will visitors to this exhibit."
Monster Fish at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Oct. 8-April 10, 2022. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Included with museum admission. carnegiemnh.org