A Chinese museum has begun a process to preserve a giant sperm whale through a technique known as plastination, making the world's largest such whale specimen.
The 14.3-meter and 41-tonne whale was one of two that ran aground on beach near Yangkou in east China's Jiangsu Province on Feb. 14 and 15. It will take at least three years to complete the plastination, which involves replacing water and fat with plastics, said Sui Hongjin, curator of the Dalian Mystery of Life Museum in northeast China's Dalian City.
Sui said plastinating the whale will preserve it for for 100 years.
The Mystery of Life Museum completed the world's first plastinated finback whale in 2009. The process took just under two years, and the seven-meter specimen is now housed in the museum.
Whale preservation is a seriously disgusting task. A dead whale accumulates a lot of gas, and improper treatment could cause an explosion.