Iconic blue whale skeleton will be a highlight at the new WA Museum

Western Australia’s iconic and much-loved blue whale is back, ready for the New Museum opening in November 2020!

Premier Mark McGowan and Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman this morning announced the spectacular new display inWestern Australia’s New Museum. The 24-metre blue whale skeleton has been excitingly suspended in a dynamic ‘lunge-feeding’ pose in the heritage-listed Hackett Hall building.

This is the first time in the world a blue whale skeleton has been displayed in such a dynamic pose, showcasing the latest research into the feeding habits of this marine mammal. They are the largest animals to have lived on Earth and the New Museum display allows visitors to walk under the skeleton and meet the blue whale at eye level.

Canadian marine skeleton specialists Cetacea worked with WA company CADDS Group to create a precision-engineered, bespoke metal frame to suspend the skeleton, which in another world first, used technology usually reserved for mining and engineering projects. 

After a call for public submissions, the 123-year-old blue whale has been named Otto, in honour of the Museum’s taxidermist, Otto Lipfert who had the incredible foresight in 1897 to collect and preserve the skeleton for future generations. 

The New Museum – and Otto – will open to the public in November 2020.

In the meantime, find out more about Otto at https://museum.wa.gov.au/newmuseum/blue-whale