A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this investigative series about legendary creatures like Bigfoot, the Swamp Beast, and the Loch Ness Monster is well-researched, it doesn't come to any conclusive answers. This uncertainty -- along with the depictions and first-hand accounts of the creatures in question -- may confuse and possibly frighten young or very sensitive viewers. But for everyone else, the series is a fascinating display of how science is used to examine mysteries.
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What's the story?
In MONSTERQUEST, witnesses and experts weigh in on the possible existence of legendary creatures like werewolves, mammoth squid called Kraken, and Bigfoot. The series also follows modern-day attempts to determine the truth behind alleged sightings, using high-tech surveillance methods and cutting-edge scientific assessments of longstanding evidence. Each episode presents both sides of the debate over one monster's existence. Eyewitnesses give accounts of their encounters with the mysterious creatures and share any supporting evidence (photos, video, etc.) they have to support their claims. In response, experts in evolution, geology, biology, and other sciences respond with their take on the witnesses' stories. In some cases, the scientists discount witnesses' stories and offer more \"rational\" explanations for the sightings (a large tree stump being churned by waves rather than the Loch Ness Monster, for instance). But other times, even the experts are at a loss for alternatives and must agree on the possibility of the creature's existence.
Is it any good?
The series also chronicles some of the ongoing research efforts to either support or disprove the theories surrounding these legendary monsters. In a segment about the Loch Ness Monster, for example, an acoustics expert compiles unique sonar recordings in the fresh water of New England's Lake Champlain, which has long been a hotbed for reported sightings of another large, serpent-like sea creature. The recordings, which resemble those of orcas, are the only ones in existence from a freshwater source; to some, they seem to point to the existence of a highly evolved being dwelling beneath the surface.
As thought-provoking as it is thoroughly researched, MonterQuest is an intriguing series for viewers who want to know more about the world around them. The show makes a concerted effort to give ample time to experts on both sides of each argument, but don't expect to hear anyone reach any conclusive answers. In the end, your guess is as good as theirs -- but at least if you tune in, you'll get some intriguing information to base your opinion on. Just take care if you're planning on watching the show with really young kids, as the sketchy photos, graphical depictions, and eyewitness accounts may be frightening, and the uncertain nature of the ongoing debate over the creatures' very existence could be confusing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether they think any of these monsters really exist. Could there be massive creatures roaming the earth that we haven't yet identified? Do any of these monsters seem more believable than others? Why or why not? If they do exist, why haven't we been able to prove it yet? Which scientific arguments did you find most convincing? Did watching this series change your opinion about whether these monsters exist?