We’re working on the squid!
Tuesday 10 March – Thursday 19 March 2009
Level 2, free entry
The colossal squid has been on display now for 3 months and it’s time for a bit of a makeover and a check-up.
So from Tuesday 10 March we’ll be doing some work on the colossal squid and its display tank. We’re hoping to get everything finished by Thursday 19 March – if everything goes according to plan.
While we’re doing this work, you won’t be able to see the colossal squid in the tank, but you will be able to see all the other great squid stuff we have for you! This includes a 3D animation, a video that tells the remarkable story of how the squid was caught, examined by the scientists and put on display, and some amazing squid computer interactives.
You’ll also be able to watch the work being carried out on the squid by our team of technicians, conservators, and collection managers.
What’s going on?
No museum in the world has put such a bulky squid on display – we’re learning all the time. We’re doing a bit more work to make sure the colossal squid and her tank look their best. We’re doing this now, so we can keep her on display for as long as possible.
A first in many ways
Lots of things about the colossal squid project have been a bit of an experiment. No one has tried to keep and display such a big squid in glycol before. As with many experiments, that’s thrown up a couple of surprises. For example, the metal wire crimps holding up the squid’s arms are reacting to the glycol and corroding – so we need to replace the crimps.
The colossal squid at her best
Half a tonne of colossal squid takes some wrangling, and a small part of the mantle is pressing up against the tank lid. We’re going to try to fix this because it has the potential to damage the tissues of the specimen.
The best possible tank as well
The squid display tank is a complex piece of engineering and there are a few things we need to fix. We are going to make some improvements to the tank design so that getting samples and doing maintenance is easier.
Better access for wheelchairs
We’re also building a wheelchair ramp. This means our visitors in wheelchairs will be able to get a better and much more comfortable view of the squid in the tank. It will also help our many younger and shorter visitors see the squid!
So please bear with us as we do this important work so Wellington’s favourite squid can stay on display. We just hope you don’t have a reaction like this …
We’ll post more about the work and what’s going on next week.