The Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky shares a fascination with dragons with the creators of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus' new show.
"We're intrigued by the fact that there are dragon legends all over the world," said Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, which built the Creation Museum in Petersburg.
Earlier this year, the museum added an exhibit called Dragon Legends among its interactive series of exhibits on "young earth" beliefs, including ones that show humans interacting with dinosaurs.
Ringling, coming to Lexington this weekend, has a dragon-themed show.
Ham said dragons have long been part of the operation at the Creation Museum. The museum shop is called the Dragon Hall Shop and books on dragons have always been for sale, he said. But, he said, the group's work in researching the biblical story of Noah and global floods also revealed a lot of tantalizing hints of the history of dragons.
"Some of our people have been researching dragon legends for years," Ham said.
He said there are carvings and other kinds of primitive artwork all over the world that look like dragons and there are some fossil records to indicate dragon-like dinosaurs. The Welsh flag still features a picture of a dragon, he said.
"They are so prevalent," he said, "they may have a basis in reality."
The dinosaurs called plesiosaurs, in particular, he said, might have helped contribute to the dragon mythology.
He concedes, though, that as with all stories, dragon tales "may have been embellished" over the years.
He said secular evolutionists mock the idea of dragons, but even the most far-fetched part of a dragon story — breathing fire — could have a scientific explanation.
After all, he said, there are electric eels and lightning bugs and other animals that produce hot gases as a defense mechanism.
The museum features two dragon replicas, specially made for the exhibit. And, he said, visitors seem to enjoy thinking of a time when man, dinosaurs and dragons roamed the earth together,
"Were dinosaurs dragons?" he asked. "They certainly could have been.
"It is just very interesting to contemplate."
IF YOU GO
What: The Northern Kentucky museum that presents biblical stories from Genesis as a literal telling of the world's origin has several new features, including exhibits on dragons and insects and an outdoor zipline.
Where: 2800 Bullittsburg Church Rd., Petersburg
Admission: $29.95 adults; $23.95 seniors older than 60; $15.95 for children 5 to 12
Learn more: 1-888-582-4253, Creationmuseum.org
Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: bluegrassmoms.com