MAY 16, 2017

Believe the Unbelievable in ‘The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!’

Discovery Place Science to host the most unbelievable summer ever in celebration of the new exhibition

CHARLOTTE – Ever wonder what’s even more amazing than Robert Ripley’s legendary collection of oddities, anomalies and fantastic feats? The science that underlies them! Explore the science behind the odd, the bizarre and the unbelievable in Discovery Place Science’s newest exhibition, The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Opening on Saturday, May 27, 2017, The Science of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! is an adventure through the remarkable realms of scientific discoveries and real artifacts. Through experiments, challenges, touchable specimens, computer interactive and multimedia experiences, visitors of all ages will delve into these astounding wonders by exploring six themed zones:

  • EXTREME BIOLOGY: Feel dwarfed by some of the world’s largest organisms, and invaded by some of the smallest, as you discover the science behind our planet’s most extreme biology.
  • THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF RIPLEY: Learn about the legacy of Mr. Ripley, explorer extraordinaire, who traveled the world collecting artifacts and stories from the remarkable people and places he encountered.
  • WEIRD WORLD, PAST AND PRESENT: From geologic formations such as gigantic mineral crystals, to exploding killer lakes, discover the scientific explanation behind every wonder of the natural world.
  • CULTURAL PRACTICES: Investigate extraordinary body modification techniques practiced by cultures around the world and how these aesthetic changes affect the functioning of the human body.
  • GALLERY OF THE UNEXPECTED: Explore objects that represent Mr. Ripley’s legacy of inspiring people to create unique art and collect unusual things.
  • PERCEPTIONS AND ILLUSIONS: How do illusions work? Find out how illusions exploit the way our brains process sensory information to turn them into images, smells or sounds we can comprehend.

With amazing artifacts, perplexing optical illusions and larger-than-life weirdness, guests can see oddities like a giant portrait of Albert Einstein made of toast or a life-size Megalodon jaw. Visitors can even experience what it would be like to be swallowed by the giant prehistoric snake Titanoboa or see how they measure up next to the tallest man in the world.

In celebration of the new exhibition, Discovery Place Science is launching The Most Unbelievable Summer Ever with a series of superlatives all summer long:

  • The Tallest – Robert Wadlow is the world’s tallest man who grew to be 8 feet 11 inches tall. Discovery Place Science wants to see how the Carolinas measure up! The tallest man and woman in the Carolinas will be awarded with the biggest prize in Discovery Place history: a lifetime Membership to Discovery Place Science! Must be a resident of NC or SC to enter.
  • The Hottest – This summer, Discovery Place is partnering with WCNC – NBC Charlotte to bring you the hottest deal on the hottest days. Throughout the run of the exhibition, if Charlotte temperatures reach 100 degrees or higher, on the following day, the first 100 visitors at Discovery Place Science will receive FREE Museum admission! The WCNC Weather Team will verify the temperature records each day, so be sure to follow Brad Panovich, Larry Sprinkle, John Wendel and Sarah Fortner to find out when you should head to the Museum for a chance at free admission.
  • The Smallest – Have you ever seen a sculpture so small that it can fit inside the eye of a needle? Celebrate all the small, microscopic and teeny tiny science during Tiny Tuesday on Tuesday, June 20 as we explore topics in Nanoscience and nanotechnology.
  • The Weirdest – Can you bend just the first joint in every finger or touch your tongue to your nose? Or maybe you can juggle bowling balls while riding a unicycle. Whatever your wonderfully weird human trick is, we want to see it! You could be entered in our Wonderfully Weird talent show, featured on social media or invited to perform in the exhibition! Submit your weird talents at
  • The Strangest – Throughout the summer, Discovery Place will be hosting select Strange Saturdays in celebration of Charlotte’s most bizarre, odd and unique. Meet sword swallowers, contortionists, collectors of curious artifacts and eccentric chefs who create delicacies using insects and other creepy crawlers. Every month will be a different strange happening. For a full schedule of special events and promotions, see attached.

To commemorate the US East Coast debut of The Science of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, Discovery Place will be featured in the internationally syndicated Ripley’s Believe It or Not! cartoon on Friday, May 26. Ripley’s Daily Fun Facts Cartoon was started in 1918 by Robert Ripley. You can see more Ripley’s cartoons at

The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is included with Museum admission, and will be on exhibition at Discovery Place Science starting Saturday, May 27 and will run through Monday, September 4, 2017. Admission to Discovery Place Science is $17 for adults (14-59); $13 for children (2-13); $15 for seniors (60+); and free for Discovery Place Science Members and children younger than 2, plus tax. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult while in the Museum. Guests can purchase tickets online at, via phone at 704.372.6261 x300 or in person.

The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a production of Science North, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and Ripley Entertainment Inc. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!® and Believe It or Not!® are registered trademarks of Ripley Entertainment Inc. WCNC is a media partner.

About Discovery Place Science

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place Science provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science, technology and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place Science is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit or connect with Discovery Place Science on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About Discovery Place

Discovery Place is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides STEM education to the Carolinas through four distinct museum experiences at Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature and Discovery Place Kids, interactive educational programming, professional development training and community outreach initiatives.

Discovery Place is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

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