Pop culture

The topic of plesiosaurs sometimes extends outside of the realm of science and into popular culture. Plesiosaurs first entered the public consciousness as early as the 1850s when life-size models of prehistoric animals were erected at Crystal Palace. Plesiosaurs have had guest appearances in movies, TV shows – more than you might think. Plesiosaurs have found their way into our toy shops and there are many plesiosaur toys, figures, and other collectibles available.

Then there are reports of living monsters, like Nessie, which are inevitably allied with prehistoric reptiles such as plesiosaurs. The living plesiosaurus page provides a critical look at the existing evidence.


Here’s a selection of notable plesiosaur appearances in film and television.

Possibly the first ever depiction of a plesiosaur on screen was in the original King Kong (1933), when a rather serpentine-looking Elasmosaurus emerges to make a meal out of the kidnapped damsel in distress.


A review of the evidence for living plesiosaurs

One of the topics I’m most frequently asked about as a plesiosaur palaeontologist is my opinion on the Loch Ness Monster and other monsters purported to be present day plesiosaurs.


There are many different plesiosaur toys, replicas, statues, and other commercially available models. Here is my collection. It isn’t quite exhaustive, but it’s getting there. Many of these are now out of production and have become rare collector items.

Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace plesiosaurs

The first ever life-size models of prehistoric animals were produced in the early 1850s by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. They were revealed to the world at Crystal Palace in London, 1854, and today they grace the grounds at Sydenham Hill, where they are classified as Grade 1 listed buildings.