Even a sprinkling of Potter magic couldn’t stop the Natural History Museum’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ exhibition, which was due to open this spring, from falling foul of the annus horribilis that is 2020. But, better late than never, the beasts are back.
With a new opening date, Wednesday December 9, ‘Introducing Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature’ will centre on JK Rowling’s magical universe and features creatures, specimens and artefacts from the museum’s scientific collection – but with a mystical twist from magical zoologist Newt Scamander’s world.
The exhibition will showcase some of the most enthralling beasts that have ever lived on our planet, such as a Galápagos marine iguana, as well as more magical specimens, like an Erumpent horn and the dragon skull from Professor Lupin’s classroom. You can also learn about the mating rituals of real-life creepy crawlies like the peacock spider, and gawp at a sea monster known as the oarfish, the world’s longest bony fish (fair warning, you’ll probably think twice about swimming in the sea ever again).
The exhibition isn’t just meant to amuse and amaze: there’s an underlying message to encourage visitors to care more about the animals that are currently roaming the globe and protect our planet’s biodiversity.
‘Bringing characters from the wizarding world together with some of the most fantastic creatures from the natural world [...] will show how the natural world has inspired legends and stories that have enthralled generations,’ says Clare Matterson, executive director of engagement at the Natural History Museum. ‘It will be impossible to leave without wanting to learn more about the wonders of our planet and how we can all better protect it.’
Hopefully, you’ll come away seeing there’s a bit more magic in the natural world than you may have realised.
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature’ was launched in partnership with Warner Bros and the BBC and will run for eight months.
Tickets for the spellbinding exhibition will be available to the general public from Thursday November 12 at the Natural History Museum’s website.
More wizarding news: There’s a new Harry Potter statue in Leicester Square.
Hogwarts in the Snow is back at Warner Bros Studio Tour in time for Christmas.