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Meet Palaeontologist Nigel Larkin, Monsters of the Deep

26 April 2023

Behind every immersive exhibition is a team of talented people putting it all together. Monsters of the Deep is the new exhibition here at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, and throughout the year, we will be meeting various members of the team who made it all happen.

Today we meet Palaeontologist Nigel Larkin who oversaw the arrival of the fascinating objects, including the iconic Orca Whale Skeleton which greets visitors as they arrive for the exhibition.

Nigel, pictured on the right as they transport the body of the whale to the exhibition.

Nigel Larkin installed a Fin whale skull, Manatee skeleton, Feejee mermaid, Narwhal tusk & Narwhal skull across a series of days at the Dockyard. Each requiring different mounts, apparatuses and conditions to be installed for public viewing. All of these items came from the Booth Museum in Brighton. The Orca Whale Skeleton has travelled around the UK, including its time at the Booth Museum, 3 years at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, before arriving here at Chatham.

Moving this object was no easy task, it weighs in at a whopping 200kgs – the same weight as an upright piano! Nigel said “Not many people get up close to a Killer Whale and so to be able to stand here and look at the size of the thing and imagine what it looked like when it was alive, that’s going to be quite something.”

See the full behind the scenes installing the Orca Whale Skeleton here:

A visit to Monsters of the Deep is included in your entry ticket to the Dockyard.

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