Jurassic Park and its sequels -- including 2015's record-breaking Jurassic World -- have been putting people in movie theater seats since the original film debuted in 1993. The premise of Jurassic Park is that a billionaire and a team of geneticists could clone long-extinct dinosaurs. Although they are science-fiction, the Jurassic Park films may have influenced the results of a 2008 Harris poll and a 2015 YouGov poll. Both surveys found that roughly 40% of Americans believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed on Earth.
Both surveys probed American beliefs related to biblical creationism, evolution, evolutionary biology and general science knowledge. The 2015 YouGov poll also found that only 54% of respondents knew that the basis of the movies -- the ability to clone DNA from fossils -- is not currently feasible.
Fact and fiction about dinosaurs on Earth:
- Mankind's earliest direct ancestors appeared on Earth just 6 million years ago -- long after the dinosaurs died out in a cataclysmic event.
- The original Jurassic Park was based on a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton. The story takes place on a fictional island off the Central American coast, near Costa Rica.
- Jurassic World broke records for the best opening weekend ever, raking in almost $209 million in North America.