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5 unbelievable things to see at the ‘Sea Creatures’ exhibition

Written by
Rachael Funnell

Ever wondered what an octopus is packing under those eight legs? Well, you’re in luck. This summer in London, a new exhibition is lifting the lid on creatures of the deep so you can explore the intricate (sometimes gruesome) insides of the ocean’s weirdest and most amazing denizens. Using ethically sourced and painstakingly preserved specimens, ‘Sea Creatures: Life Beneath the Ocean’ reveals the incredible anatomies that allow aquatic life to thrive. Find out how rays give birth to live young, discover the unusual organs needed for life on the sea floor and catch a glimpse of an octopus’s junk.

1. A massive minke whale

This minke whale, affectionately known as Hai Hai, was the first ocean mammal to undergo the complex plastination process. Popping the hood on Hai Hai has provided a valuable insight into the anatomical adaptations that allowed mammals to move into the ocean, making her a landmark in marine education.

2. One whopper of a shark

The whale shark is the world’s largest fish, with the heaviest specimen ever recorded weighing 23.7 tons – that’s just slightly less than two London buses. Despite its five-foot mouth span, this gentle giant is a filter feeder, existing on a diet of krill and fish eggs. Put down your whey protein, Brad. #bulking = caviar.

3. H-h-half of a penguin

The king penguin might not be able to fly, but it can dive to depths of 985 feet in pursuit of a snack, chowing down on squid, fish and crustaceans. Pingu packs a fair bit of blubber under his skin, but considering king penguins can survive the harsh conditions of Antarctica (where temperatures drop below -50), we’ll let him off the Weight Watchers track.

4. The big fish without a tail

The mola mola is a hella hella big fish, growing up to 13.7 feet in length and weighing as much as 5,000 lbs (that’s more than a caravan). The largest bony fish in the ocean also lays the most eggs of any known vertebrate, dropping up to 300 million in one sitting.

5. An eight-legged friend

It seems like just yesterday Paul the Octopus was getting himself into hot water with German football fans, and now you can discover exactly what it was that made him so good at opening those boxes with this display of octopus vulgaris. To be fair, with eight legs and three hearts, you’d be an animal oracle too.

Sea Creatures: Life Beneath the Ocean’ is at RHS Lawrence Hall, Aug 4-Aug 30. £18-£20. Tickets from £10 here.

Elsewhere a new London theatre is opening… at the Natural History Museum.

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