Donate

Photos: How To Clean A Giant Blue Whale

Yesterday the American Museum of Natural History's giant blue whale had its annual bath. The whale is located above the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life—where it securely floats above visitors—and is 94 feet long, weighing in at 21,000 pounds. How does something this massive get cleaned?

A rep for the AMNH told us that a vacuum cleaner is the main cleaning tool used, which sucks off "the residue that is found on the whale... [it] is simply common dust, similar to what you might find around your home." Dean Markosian, Director of Project Management in the Exhibition Department, tells us, "It's a big job because she has a lot of surface area—it's the largest animal that we currently know has ever lived."

The smaller guys get cleaned, too, however—we're told, "All of the other exhibits, including the Scales of the Universe are cleaned periodically. We’ve recently given the elephants in Akeley Hall and dinosaur fossils a cleaning." It's good to know that when you sleepover in August you won't have to worry about dust sneezes.

Featured in Arts & Entertainment