One for the bizarre-o files

Check out this 2 ton plastinated partial whale shark dissection on display in a pedestrian shopping mall in Dalian, China:

I can’t decide whether this is really cool or just flat-out bizarre.  I guess it depends where the specimen came from.

para_sight (138 Posts)

Dr. Alistair Dove is a systematic and ecological parasitologist by training, with broader research interests in the natural history and health of marine animals, especially whale sharks. He is currently Director of Research and Conservation at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta USA. His comments here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Georgia Aquarium

4 comments on “One for the bizarre-o files
    • I’m sure you’re just being funny, but in case others are wondering – the black stripes on the gills are whats left of the skin, which has been flayed away from the rest of the animal. Charming, no?

      The more I think about this, the more I think there’s a way an exhibit like this could have been done right. Maybe in a museum setting, with proper interpretation and a story about the particular individual animal involved (assuming it was a serendipitous collection and not deliberately killed for this purpose, which would be horrific), but plasticised, stuck on a pole and plopped in an outdoor mall probably isnt the right way. Maybe there’s more to the story that I didnt find out, I hope so.

      • It never ever occurred to me that the black stripes were what was left of the skin. That’s actually pretty disturbing. I agree that in a museum this could be done right, but it’s a bit extreme for a public art piece and I’m not sure what kind of message it’s supposed to send. It reminds me of Damien Hirst’s pickled sharks, which isn’t really a good thing.

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