#MarineWildlife - News emerged this week that Dippy, the famous diplodocus cast at the entrance of London's Natural History Museum, is to be replaced with the skeleton of a blue whale.
But amid all the hubbub that this move has sparked, perhaps little known is the replacement creature's Irish origin.
According to Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographic Society, the museum's blue whale skeleton is from a female whale that was beached off Wexford more than 100 years ago.
The giant marine mammal was reportedly already injured when it washed up at Wexford Harbour in 1891, says whaling expert Phillip Hoare, who notes that the museum paid £250 (some £27,000 in today's money) for the carcass – which produced an incredible 630 gallons of valuable whale oil.
That rendering was done at the museum itself, which had a 'whale pit' reserved for such purposes till the 1940s, when complaints from the neighbours about the smell put paid to that practice.
What's more, the Wexford whale that will have pride of place in the museum's atrium is just one of countless other specimens acquired over the decades, many of which are stores in a warehouse in south London.
Geographical has more on the story HERE.