The American Museum of Natural History is a renowned museum in New York City that boasts an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits. Among its many attractions is the iconic blue whale, which hangs from the ceiling of the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. The awe-inspiring sight of the massive mammal has captivated visitors for decades, leaving them wondering whether it’s real or not.
So, is the blue whale at the Museum of Natural History real? The answer is yes, it’s real – but with a catch. The blue whale exhibit at the museum is a replica of a real blue whale that was once alive and swimming in the ocean.
The original blue whale was caught off the southern tip of South America in 1925 by a team of whalers. It measured over 89 feet in length and weighed approximately 200 tons. The skeleton was shipped to New York City, where it was reassembled and put on display at the museum.
Over time, however, exposure to light and fluctuations in temperature caused significant deterioration to the bones. In 1962, after years of wear and tear, it became clear that something had to be done to preserve this magnificent creature for future generations.
The solution was to create a replica using fiberglass molds made from casts taken from the original skeleton. The replica was finished with paint to match the coloration of living blue whales. This process allowed for a more accurate representation of what a live blue whale looks like than could be achieved with just bones alone.
Today, visitors can marvel at this incredible exhibit and learn about these majestic creatures that inhabit our oceans. The exhibit features interactive displays that allow visitors to explore different aspects of marine life, including ocean currents and food chains.
In conclusion, while not technically “real,” the Blue Whale exhibit at the Museum of Natural History is an accurate replica made from molds taken from an actual Blue Whale skeleton. It’s an excellent example of how museums can preserve and showcase important artifacts while providing visitors with an engaging and educational experience. So, the next time you visit the Museum of Natural History, be sure to check out this incredible exhibit and experience the wonder of the Blue Whale for yourself.