Men at work – fixing the squid

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.

6 Responses

  1. Emerson

    Hi, I am 7 years old and live in Miami Florida. The squid’s eye is so big it scares me. I would really like to visit New Zealand someday and see the squid.

  2. Searphine

    Hello I am 4 yrs old and I love the Squid. I love to go to the website and find out about the colossal squid. I am so happy to hear you are fixing her up. I hope it goes well and I am soooooo looking forward to seeing her again, fixed up. Squid lover.

    • pamelalovis

      Hello Searphine. Thank you for your message. It’s great to know you are a squid lover and visit our website to find out about her. The fixing up is going very well. All the work should be finished by the end of next week so you can come and see her again! Her tank will be working better and we will have made sure that her arms and tentacles are all ok. Pamela

  3. tepapamuseum

    Hi Carmen,
    You can subscribe to our blog using its news feed and a news reader.
    If you don’t have one already, you can use Google Reader or bloglines:
    which are available on the web.
    You can then subscribe to the squid category of our blog by adding it to your chosen news reader:
    If you have any more questions about this, we’ll try to answer them the best we can.
    Florence, IT at Te Papa

  4. carmen jones

    Hi, please notify me of any new articles on the giant squid. thanks.


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