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The Science of Monsters

The Science of Monsters

The Origins of the Creatures We Love to Fear

We all know “there’s no such thing as monsters,” but our imaginations tell us otherwise. From the mythical beasts of ancient Greece to the hormonal vampires of the Twilight saga, monsters have captivated us for millennia. Matt Kaplan, a noted science journalist and monster-myth enthusiast, employs an entertaining mix of cutting-edge research and a love of lore to explore the history behind these fantastical fictions and our hardwired obsession with things that go bump in the night. The Science of Monsters tackles the enduring questions that arise on the frontier between fantasy and reality. Did dragons really exist? What inspired the creation of vampires and why are we so drawn to them? Are we close to making Jurassic Park a reality by replicating a dinosaur from fossilized DNA? Kaplan takes readers to the forefront of science, where our favorite figures of horror may find real-life validation.
Choose a format:
  • Scribner | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451667998 | 
  • October 2013
List Price $18.99

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

In the darkness it came. There was no way out. Cornered and helpless, all who found themselves in this dreaded place knew their fate. Relentlessly, the half-human, half-bull fiend found its quarry and tore them to pieces. Scrambling and searching for an exit was pointless. Even if any did miraculously find a way out, the natives of the island were against them. They would simply throw escapees back into the blackness of the depths. Whether their deaths were quick or drawn out remains a mystery, for in the labyrinth of legend on the island of Crete, none of those forced in were ever heard from again.

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About the Author

Matt Kaplan
Photograph by Tristan Horner

Matt Kaplan

Matt Kaplan is a science journalist, regularly contributing to National Geographic, NewScientist, Nature, and The Economist. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times. When not chained to a desk, Kaplan travels the wilds of the world as part of a London expedition team. He lives in London.

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