Thursday, May 28, 2009

Whales, articulated and dismantled

The Museum of Osteology has not yet opened to the public, but if you click on the photo you can watch a 28-day time-lapse video of the installation of the humpback whale skeleton. And while we're on the subject of whales, here are some stories - old and new - about removal of whale carcasses (avoid if you are squeamish):
  • Exploding whale - In this classic tale from 1970, the Oregon Highway Department attempted to remove a dead 8-ton sperm whale from the beach by means of a 1/2-ton of dynamite, but it didn't work as planned...
  • Whale bursts in transit - In 2004, the same result occurred naturally in the streets of Taiwan when a decomposing 50-ton sperm whale was being transported for study.
  • Carving up a humpback - This is a firsthand account from 2006 of an attempt to harvest the skeleton of a humpback whale from an Alaskan beach, so that it could be reassembled and displayed.
Congratulations to the Museum of Osteology for achieving this monumental task!

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