I have one distinct memory of visiting the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and it’s this:
Standing in the Hall of Ocean Life getting slightly creeped out by the mood lighting and the sound effects of the sealife known as ‘animals that want to eat me’, I noticed how dusty the Giant Blue Whale suspended from the ceiling was – and how nonthreatening it became once I realised that a whale covered in three inches of Manhattan pollution wasn’t going to be attacking me any time soon, no matter how giant and blue it was. It hadn’t occurred to me to wonder how they cleaned the thing, but as of this morning I’ve had that non-existent question answered anyway.
The American Museum of Natural History live streamed their team giving the massive creature a spit and polish earlier today and actually it’s kind of interesting. Turns out it’s quite a procedure to groom a Giant Blue Whale. Here’s a timelapse video of the annual whale wash from 2011 (I don’t suggest you sit through a repeat of the hour long livestream from today – it’s not that interesting!), but I’m warning you – a dusty whale is way less intimidating.