Photo Essay: Sant Ocean Hall

July 6, 2010 — The Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC, has a preserved giant squid that is, tush to tentacle tip, 24 feet long. Go see it. Seriously. Go. Actually, there are numerous reasons to visit this relatively new and permanent addition to the Smithsonian NMNH, including large sea creature replicas, salty skeletons, prehistoric marine fossils, and preserved specimens of such strange and strangely named ocean life as the fangtooth, Galapagos batfish, triplewart seadevil, angler fish, vent worm, and even a second giant squid that, at nine feet, is easy to miss thanks to its counterpart nearby. Oh, there's also a five-foot-long coelacanth, which would have been reason enough to visit Sant were there not a 24-foot-long giant squid on display. Which reminds me. There's a 24-foot-long giant squid on display. Go see it.

One of the cooler things I've pestered people
to take a picture of me with.

Modeled on an actual North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix that you can track online.

Awesome in both the juvenile and literal sense.

These things were only seen alive for the first time in 2004. Here's footage.

A replica of an oarfish, the largest known vertebrate fish in the ocean.
Here's some rare footage.

The small one in the corner is a coelacanth pup.

That's it. I'm off to go find a song to knock Octopus's Garden out of my head.