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.

4 Replies to “One for the bizarre-o files”

  1. 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.

  2. Perhaps PETA should abscond with the beast and release it back into the North Pacific Gyre, where it can feast upon plastic for all of its days.

  3. 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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