Special Exhibits

"Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants"
Now - April 11, 2021

(exhibit extended through April 11, 2021)

Photo Credit: Courtesy Brant Allen

Dr. Zeb Hogan
Photo Credit: Courtesy Brant Allen


This interactive exhibition based on the Nat Geo WILD series "Monster Fish," showcases the results of Dr. Zeb Hogan's decade-long search for the world's largest freshwater fish.

Dive beneath the surface of the world’s rivers! Enormous in size and rapidly dwindling in number, these ancient fish play critical roles in their freshwater habitats. Dr. Zeb Hogan, aquatic ecologist, National Geographic Fellow, 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. The interactive exhibition includes five extraordinary, life-size sculptures of monster fish as well as videos and hands-on interactive activities for audiences of all ages.

“Monster Fish” takes you on a journey to river basins around the world to learn about colossal fish and the people that 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 exhibit depicts the cultural ties between the fish and local people. From mythical tales and storied traditions to threats and conservation efforts, you will leave with a greater understanding of the connection between humans and fish.

Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

“This fascinating exhibition is a trip around the world with one of Nat Geo’s favorite Explorers in search of bizarre and extraordinary species of freshwater fish,” says 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.”

In addition to life-size models and live fish (not monster varieties) in aquariums representing various habitats, “Monster Fish” features several interactive elements and games designed to provide you 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,” 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.

A model boat serves as a theater - climb aboard to view five video shorts featuring Hogan talking about what it is like to search the world for monster fish.

NOTE: Your health and safety is our top priority. Some activities may be modified to observe social distancing guidelines.  

Photo by Rebecca Hale/National Geographic

Photo by Rebecca Hale/National Geographic

In each episode of "Monster Fish", 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.

You can learn more and watch the show at: 

University of Nevada, Reno, where Hogan is a researcher, is the educational partner for the “Monster Fish” exhibition and provides support for Hogan’s participation in the project.

MONSTER FISH is developed and traveled by the National Geographic Society and is sponsored locally by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Foundation, NissanRegions Bank, The Taylor Group, and other generous sponsors.

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. The Society aspires to create a community of change, advancing key insights about the planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time, all while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. Its goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit

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