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TRAVEL & LEISURE

'Fantastic Beasts' Is Being Turned Into a Huge 'Harry Potter'-Themed Natural History Exhibition

It'll showcase items from JK Rowling's Wizarding World alongside real-life creatures, specimens and artefacts — and it's set to tour the world.
By Sarah Ward
January 12, 2020
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'Fantastic Beasts' Is Being Turned Into a Huge 'Harry Potter'-Themed Natural History Exhibition

It'll showcase items from JK Rowling's Wizarding World alongside real-life creatures, specimens and artefacts — and it's set to tour the world.
By Sarah Ward
January 12, 2020
  shares

As well as creating some of popular culture's most beloved characters of the past three decades, JK Rowling's Harry Potter franchise has also conjured up a whole heap of astonishing critters. The Boy Who Lived himself studied them at Hogwarts, all thanks to textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — and, to the joy of Potter-loving muggles everywhere, Rowling turned that tome into an actual text in 2001.

Plus, as every Wizarding World fan knows, that book followed the original Harry Potter novels in making the leap from the page to the screen. So far, two movies have hit cinemas, charting the exploits of the text's author Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) just as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) rises to prominence. While neither the first 2016 film nor its 2018 sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald quite live up to the HP movies, three more are still planned from 2021 onwards.

Can't wait that long until your next Fantastic Beasts fix? Particularly fond of the creatures that fly, scamper and scurry through the Wizarding World? Then you'll be waving your wands in excitement about the huge new Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, which'll display items from Rowling's fictional universe alongside real-life creatures, specimens and artefacts.

Premiering at London's Natural History Museum sometime this autumn — spring in the northern hemisphere — for a seven-month season before embarking on an international tour, the showcase will combine critters from the natural world, the mythical world and the Wizarding World. Visitors will see legendary beasts placed alongside specimens and historic objects, while also venturing through digital installations and other elements from the Fantastic Beasts flicks. Unsurprisingly, there'll also be a huge focus on Scamander, the Wizarding World's famed magizoologist.

Jeff Spicer

While the full range of exhibits hasn't been revealed, you can expect to peer at a tiger, a Galápagos marine iguana and a giant oarfish (the planet's longest bony fish) alongside an Erumpent horn and the dragon skull from Professor Lupin's classroom. You'll also be able to compare the camouflage tactics of a jaguar to those of the Demiguise. Here's hoping a super-cute Niffler features in some shape or form, too.

Just where Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature will head after its London run hasn't been announced yet either, but start yelling "accio exhibition" while you cross your fingers for a stop Down Under.

A collaboration between the Natural History Museum, the BBC and Warner Bros, a Fantastic Beasts documentary is also headed to screens to tie in with the exhibition. Called Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History and presented by Stephen Fry, it'll delve into the origins and stories of mythical creatures and fantastical beasts, examining their history and making connections to animals roaming the planet today. In the UK, it's set to air at a yet-to-be-revealed date later this year — with international airings also yet to be announced.

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature will display at London's Natural History Museum from sometime this autumn — spring in the northern hemisphere — with tickets on sale from Thursday, January 16. Details of the exhibition's international tour are yet to be revealed.

Published on January 12, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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