Carnegie Museum of Natural History to host National Geographic Society’s Monster Fish Exhibition

Exhibition runs October 8, 2021-April 10, 2022 
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Dr. Zeb Hogan with 46-inch Giant Eurasian Trout in the Üür River, Mongolia. Image courtesy Brant Allen.

Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants is based on the popular Nat Geo WILD show hosted by Dr. Zeb Hogan featuring rare, giant freshwater fish from around the world

Carnegie Museum of Natural History invites visitors to dive beneath the surface of the world’s rivers in the National Geographic Society exhibition Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants, opening October 8. The interactive exhibition, based on the popular Nat Geo WILD show Monster Fish, includes five extraordinary, life-size sculptures of monster fish as well as videos and hands-on interactive activities for all ages.

Monster Fish takes visitors on a journey to river basins around the world to learn about colossal fish and the people who depend on them. Through detailed maps, sculptures, and custom illustrations, the exhibition showcases close to 20 fish species and their diverse freshwater ecosystems. In addition to highlighting the biology of each species, the exhibition depicts the cultural ties between the fish and local people. From mythical tales and storied traditions to threats and conservation efforts, visitors will leave with a greater understanding of the connection between humans and fish. Dr. Zeb Hogan, aquatic ecologist, National Geographic Explorer and host of the Nat Geo WILD series Monster Fish, has spent nearly two decades searching for and studying the rare, large freshwater fish species profiled in the exhibition.

“In this hands-on exhibition, visitors travel to storied river basins and come face-to-face with the fish through beautiful life-size sculptures and interactives,” said Sarah Crawford, Director of Exhibitions at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. “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—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 the visitors to this exhibit.”

“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,” said National Geographic’s vice president of Public Experiences, Kathryn Keane. “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.”

Monster Fish features 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. In “Monster Size Me,” visitors maneuver a marble through a circular obstacle course, avoiding threats like invasive species and dams and seeking ways to grow areas like protected habitats. In “Minnow or Monster,” groups can step onto a large scale to see their equivalent weight in monster fish. The “Go Fish” game invites children to use magnetic fishing poles to catch fish and then place them into a chute for release back into the river. A model boat serves as a theater, which guests can climb aboard to view five video shorts featuring Hogan talking about what it is like to search the world for monster fish.

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Photo by Rebecca Hale/National Geographic.

Hogan’s Nat Geo WILD series Monster Fish is currently in its seventh season. In each episode, Hogan immerses himself in a local culture, where fishing is often more than a sport or even a profession — it’s a way of life. He tastes the regional cuisine, mingles at fish markets, listens to the harrowing stories of native fishermen and sleeps where his local guides do. For more information on the series, visit www.natgeowild.com.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, visitors are required to wear masks and encouraged to purchase timed tickets in advance at carnegiemnh.org/buy-tickets. For more information about safety procedures, including timed ticketing, visit carnegiemuseums.org/welcome-back.

Monster Fish tickets may be purchased in addition to regular museum admission and cost $5 for adults and $3 for members, children, students, and adults over the age of 65. Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s presentation of Monster Fish is sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Dollar Bank, with support from Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School.

About the National Geographic Society 

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org 

About Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of millions of objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website, https://carnegiemnh.org