The Science of Monsters

The Origins of the Creatures We Love to Fear

The Science of Monsters

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.
  • Scribner | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451667998 | 
  • October 2013
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About the Author

Matt Kaplan
Photograph by Tristan Horner

Matt Kaplan

Matt Kaplan is a science correspondent with The Economist. He has also contributed to National Geographic, New Scientist, Nature, and The New York Times. He is the author of the book The Science of Monsters. In 2014, Kaplan was awarded a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship which he used to study the sciences at MIT and folklore at Harvard.


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