It’s not every day one stumbles upon a 400 pound whale heart, but when you do, you put that shit in a museum. Thankfully, that’s exactly what the folks at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) did when they uncovered a dead blue whale in Newfoundland back in 2014. Since then, biologist Jacqueline Miller and her team at ROM have been working tirelessly to put the massive organ on display, and today, they finally did just that.
While the finished product looks pretty—or at least as pretty as a dead whale ticker can be—getting it museum-ready was a process. “ was a very bad year for ice everywhere, including the Great Lakes, and nine blue whales were found dead in the ice,” Miller told Gizmodo. “Usually, blue whales sink, but two of them managed to remain buoyant and washed up on shore in Newfoundland late that winter.”
Thankfully, cold Atlantic waters had kept one of the whales’ hearts extremely well-preserved. While other organs might not have fared so well, in this case the blue whale’s anatomy offered some extra protection.
“The heart itself is kind of protected from some [decay] because it sits in its own sack in the chest cavity, something called the pericardial sac. So it doesn’t directly have contact with the bacterial activity that’s acting on other tissues in the whale.”
“Plastination requires a very specific facility, and there are no facilities in North America that had a chamber that would be large enough,” Miller explained. She and her team had to ship the heart to Germany—and yes, they used bubble wrap to send it.
© 2017. SuperStarFloraluk.com