Saying Hello to “Hope” the Blue Whale Exhibit
Another busy week for Everything Dinosaur team members. A member of staff was at the London Natural History Museum recently, although they had a busy itinerary there was still time to enter the main gallery (the Hintze Hall) and to say hello to “Hope”, the enormous Blue Whale exhibit that replaced “Dippy” the Diplodocus in 2017. Suspended overhead, dominating the refurbished gallery, the Blue Whale skeleton (Balaenoptera musculus), symbolises the Museum’s focus on conservation and supporting efforts to save natural habitats and wildlife.
The Spectacular “Hope” Blue Whale Exhibit in the Hintze Hall (London Natural History Museum)
Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur
The skeleton measures 25.2 metres in length, it weighs some 4.5 tonnes and consists of 221 individual bones. Not all parts of the exhibit are real bone, some bones were missing from the right flipper and these have been replaced by 3-D printed mirror copies of the bones from the left flipper. Seeing the Diplodocus exhibit in the main gallery was always a highlight of any visit to the Museum. It became almost a ritual to say hello to “Dippy” on the way to a meeting or prior to visiting one of the various departments on site.
The Diplodocus exhibit was only a cast, a specimen that had been donated to the London Natural History Museum in 1905 by the Scottish-born billionaire Andrew Carnegie. “Dippy” was installed into the Hintze Hall in 1979, but finally removed in January 2017 to be replaced by the Blue Whale exhibit.
We will have to get used to saying hello to “Hope” instead.