Relocating a Supersized Squid, Tentacles And All!

One of Queensland Museum’s resident tenants took the stress of moving to a whole new level, as the giant squid found her tentacles being transported to a new abode.

Past Life

Before calling Queensland Museum home, the supersized ocean dweller was discovered lurking in the deep ocean off New Zealand, measuring a staggering 6.75 metres.

The life of the preserved Architeuthis dux has spanned vast conditions, having initially resided at Underwater World, frozen in time in a man-made, 3.5 tonne ice block. Saying goodbye to her home on the Sunshine Coast, the squid joined the Queensland Museum family and was prepared for a new way of display.

Upon her arrival she went through an extensive process of thawing before being preserved in a formalin and placed in ethanol for storage in a large fibreglass tank in the registered research collection.

Transporting The Tentacles and All

In preparation for the big move, the creature was transitioned from ethanol to glycerol, to ensure her visual display remained safe for the public. Before diving into the tank, she was transferred to the prep area for final work ahead of the unveil of the Deep Ocean Exhibition back in 2014.

Queensland Museum Collection Manager Darryl Potter with a preserved specimen of a Southern Giant Squid, Architeuthis sanctipauli.

Despite the internal move to the level three exhibition space, the operation proved extensive due to the sheer weight of the filled tank. For this reason the squid was introduced into the tank with a minimal amount of glycerol mixture. Next came a forklift to transfer the half-filled tank to the location, before watching the creature submerge as the tank was filled on site. Finally the giant squid had a place to call home.

In Great Ocean Company

Whilst an impressive feature of the Queensland Museum, our Giant Squid remains in great ocean company alongside a Diamondback Squid, a giant Cuttlefish and the largest known predatory fish, a Great White Shark. Treated with the same care, these displays have been custom built and co-funded through Arts Queensland to provide a fitting permanent home for these marine wonders.

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