• Sunset view of Glacier Bay and the surrounding Fairweather Mountains.

    Glacier Bay

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

The Cleaning Tanks

March 25, 2013 Posted by: K. VandenBerg

The Cleaning Tanks

'Whales and Nails' uses two different treatments to coax oil from bones and brighten them up to their natural color. First, bones are immersed in a "hot" water tank (180 degrees) for several days to pull grease and oil from inside the bones. Next, they are placed in a hydrogen peroxide "soak" tank for a few days which allows the degreasing process to continue and brightens them up to their natural, creamy color. Both tanks pictured below were constructed by Dan for this purpose. While these tanks had the capacity to hold most all of Whale 68's bones, a much larger tank had to be constructed for the skull. On the next blog post, we will take a look at how Dan actually built a large soak tank AROUND Whale 68's skull! Keep in mind that Whale 68 is a very large humpback whale, measuring 45.5 feet in length! Her skull alone measures 14 feet in length!

Bones in Tanks - Cleaning 3_20_13 JPEG


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Did You Know?

Bull Moose

The largest member of the deer family is a recent newcomer to Glacier Bay. The first moose was sighted here in 1960. They are frequently seen amid thick stands of willows and other tasty vegetation.