The fix is in

Here we are adding formalin to the storage tank to bring the concentration up to 5%. The formalin is then buffered to stop any acidity corroding the hooks of the specimen.

A plastic liner is placed over the top of the tank before the wooden lid is replaced.

Finally the pH (acidity) is checked – it will be checked every three days until the specimen is fully fixed at the end of the month.

15 Responses

  1. Helen

    Hi Lucy

    Well that’s just brilliant and if it is at all possible it would look so much better than being static and frozen in time.

    I am planning on being in NZ for the next rugby world cup in 2011, now I have 2 reasons to sit on a plane for 3 weeks (how long does it take to get to NZ from northern Scotland, lol).

    I have really enjoyed this experience, thank you all.


  2. karen

    Oh ok, thanks for answeing me back about that! I knew the skin couldnt be “repaired” just had wondered if anything would or could have been done to kind of “cover up” sort of speak, the areas missing skin.

    Now I know, so thanks! 🙂

  3. chrispaulin

    When the specimen goes on display it will be as is. It is not posible to repair the damaged skin areas unfortunately.

  4. karen

    Quick question, when you put her on display, will she be kept exactly the way she is now (I know some of the skin came off in areas from the nets and etc)or will she be touched up with color some how to show the color they really are when alive in the ocean?

    I find this all so facinating, sorry for any dumb questions, lol

  5. lucyryan

    Hi Jackie,

    We are currently working on a timeline for getting the squid on display – hopefully it will be in the latter half of the year.

    Sorry we can’t be more specific at this time but keep an eye on the blog because as the exhibtion develops, we’ll be updating it with all sorts of information.


  6. Jackie

    Have you any idea yet when it will be displayed to the public? We’re planning on visiting Wellington and would like to know when to go. The squid would be number 1 on our list of things to do 🙂

    One more question are these squids related to the baby squids you eat at the chinese restaurants? We had a closer look at the tentacles of those and noticed the little suckers on them.


  7. pamelalovis

    One of the things we’ll be thinking about when we develop the colossal squid exhibition is how best to show how we think it moves and feeds when alive in the ocean depths.

    No one has ever seen a colossal squid alive in the water so we’ll be researching this question with our team of squid experts – to apply what we know from other squid species.

    One option will be to develop a computer animation showing how we think it would move and feed. We’re discussing this now – all very exciting.

  8. lucyryan

    Hi Helen,

    Great question and one we are asking ourselves at the moment. To be honest, we are still in the tank design stages and have a lot of things to think about. For instance:

    How heavy will the tank be once it has a 495 kg squid in and a lot of glycol?
    How do you move something that heavy around?
    Will it fit in the goods lift or will we have to pop windows out to get it in the building?

    As we work through all of these challenges, we’ll be blogging about it so keep checking back to see how the Colossal squid exhibition develops and changes over time.


  9. Helen

    Thanks for that Chris. If a flow through is built into the final display tank the squid could/would appear to be moving?

  10. chrispaulin

    It will be leathery, but not rigid

  11. Helen

    Chris, you say the tissue will become harder, will it become rigid or will it still be moveable although stronger?


  12. chrispaulin

    The formalin will preserve the tissue and make the tissue harder. The fresh tissue is quite soft and we cannot move it easily without tearing it. The larger colossal squid specimen is being kept intact for display, while we will dissect the smaller one.

  13. rebecca

    does the formalin fix the squid in place?…like make it hard…or is just going to preserve it so that you can disect it

  14. Jennifer

    I have to agree, thanks for keeping us updated with the really cool things ya’ll are learning about this squid. We have enjoyed reading your daily blogs. Keep up the good work!

  15. Jackie

    Thanks for keeping us updated!


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)