Scientists prove Dinosaur World existed at least 6.5 years before Creation Museum and Ark Encounter.
Dinosaurs have been a point of fascination for Kentuckians since the beginning of time. Over those 6,000 years, interest has never been higher than it was in 1993 when the most famous movie featuring dinosaurs was released, Last Action Hero.
While all historians, scientists and religious zealots agree Last Action Hero was awesome, the debate about the history of dinosaurs and their humble beginnings continues to rage on. Often, when discussing dinosaurs, the same questions seem to arise. Did dinosaurs exist? Did they evolve into weird birds? Which one is Littlefoot? How did they become ex-stink? When were they around, and how can we make more gasoline from them?
Many modern scientists (if they would have been available for interview) would agree the cradle of civilization is located just outside the mammoth caves right here in Kentucky. According to whatever question about dinosaurs and their world that I typed into Bing, dinosaurs lived around 65 million years ago. So, with just a little bit of research and math, we can infer that Dinosaur World in Cave City could have been built anywhere between 6.5 years ago and 65 million years ago, no one can be quite sure — but don't say that to the folks over at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
No one is exactly sure when Dinosaur World opened. People have pinpointed when a few of the dinosaur statues popped up, but the general consensus from the scientific community is that the theme park just eventually came to be. The Creation Museum, on the other hand, was created over six days in 2007.
The Creation Museum is often referred to as having a controversial view on the history of dinosaurs, as many say the founder of this Christian tourist destination relies too much on his literal interpretation of the words of Genesis and That's All.
The popularity of the Creation Museum has grown recently with the addition of the Ark Encounter, an attraction that allows guests to encounter an ark.
Most would agree there are little to no references to dinosaurs in the works of Genesis — the band mostly sang about whether or not they could dance, and Peter Gabriel himself would admit he's no angel — however the popularity of the Creation Museum has grown recently with the addition of the Ark Encounter, an attraction that allows guests to encounter an ark.
The super big boat, a replica of the one built by Noah of Ark, opened this week to teach young people about the time when the good dinosaurs were saved in the Velocirapture and the others were turned into the dragons from Game of Thrones.
"Everyone up there in Petersburg has been so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn't stop to think if they should," says Cave City's Dinosaur World CEO Geoff Aubloom, who contends only his responsibility to science is keeping his roadside attraction going.
Aubloom prides himself on keeping Dinosaur World affordable to the public. At just under $13, his ticket prices are truly a value when compared to a one-day pass to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, which begin at $60 a ticket.
Aubloom slams the table as he explains how offensive he finds their price point.
"This park was not built to cater to the super rich," he says of Dinosaur World. "Everyone's got a right to enjoy these animals. I can go to King's Island for $35 and I don't even have to learn anything."
We asked Ham if he would ever make his roadside attraction as affordable. "Sure, sure we will, we'll have a … coupon day or something," he says. "But it will still be a little more than them because we have two of each animal, including dinosaurs."
Following our tours of both attractions, we returned to our office to do some science of our own and offer an unbiased look at when all this really began. We looked at coupons from both the Creation Museum and Dinosaur World and, according to our bargain dating, Dinosaur World does appear to be at least 6.5 years older, and thus far predates both the Creation Museum and the new Ark Encounter.
Harold Leeder is the editor-in-chief of New Circle Circular. Harold is a lifelong Lexingtonian and loves writing about his city in-between sips of bourbon. To read more of his work and stay up to date on all things Lexington, visit newcirclecircular.com.
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