France’s National Museum of Natural History displayed its prize centerpiece today for an exhibit on biodiversity, a plastinated, 21+ foot-long, giant squid named Wheke. The squid was hauled in by a fisherman in New Zealand in 2001 and was plastinated in Italy by a company called VisDocta Research. The process, in which all of the squid’s water, fat and other liquids are replaced with a hardening plastic filling, took two and a half years and cost approximately $100,000.

I am looking forward to plastinating Andrew’s dog, Izzy, some day. Maybe for an anniversary gift?

Wheke would be so happy to know that he was immortalized in a space-age polymer plastic.

More info on the plastic squid here.

Also, do yourself a favor and DO NOT, for any reason, visit this post from Deep Sea News unveiling their latest addition to the giant squid song series. What about a song about brave, Wheke, guys? Let’s hear it!


  1. #1 bioephemera
    March 26, 2008

    Is it truly amazing how fake a $100K plastic squid looks, isn’t it? But then, plastination kind of makes everything look fake – mammals, too.

  2. #2 Benny
    March 26, 2008

    Hey Bio, got any pics of fake looking plastinated mammals lying around?

  3. #3 kevin z
    March 26, 2008

    Wheke?? *blinks unknowingly*

    Maybe my next song will be on those wily, meddlesome Bleiman brothers.

  4. #4 Benny
    March 26, 2008

    Wheke is the martyr squid who is hanging plastinated above hordes of crossoint-eating French folks as we speak. He deserves a ballad.

  5. #5 milkshake
    March 26, 2008

    You can freeze-dry your Izzy and he will look like alive, forever. Here, Leo and Snuffy – can you tell which one is freeze-dried?:


    And if you use mineral oil to re-soak your dried pet, he will become transluscent! Works great as a bedside lamp shade!

  6. #6 Bee
    March 27, 2008

    Oh man, milkshake – I went and looked at that site. Creepy beyond belief, even the live cat knows this is just wrong!

    OTOH, harmless, if weird.

  7. #7 HP
    March 27, 2008

    Hey Bio, got any pics of fake looking plastinated mammals lying around?


    Wheke?? *blinks unknowingly*

    Apparently, it’s the Maori word for octopus. Also, the name of the Maori octopus-god.

  8. #8 film
    April 22, 2009

    Apparently, the inhabitants of the Andaman Islands were mostly spared from the Tsunami of 2004 because they followed the animals to high ground.

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