The Amazing Journey of a Preserved Giant Squid Making Its Way From New Zealand to New York

In the eighth and most recent episode of “Shelf Life“, The American Museum of Natural History recounts the journey that took a well-preserved frozen Architeuthis Dux around the world – from Wellington, New Zealand to New York City. Curator Neil Landman explains how nerve-wracking the process was.

It was supposed to make a connection from L.A. to New York and that’s where we began to worry because apparently it missed its connection. I thought, “Oh,it’s just going to melt on some runway and that’s going to be the end of our dream.” Fortunately, it managed to make the next plane out to Kennedy airport. When the giant squid arrived at Kennedy Airport, a forklift started bringing it toward us, but then the Customs officials realized that we needed paperwork. You know, this was the first time they had ever had a giant squid delivered. So, there was a lot of consternation. Until the general decision was that we would call this frozen seafood, sushi. They came up with a tariff of $10 to clear it for Customs and we left with the squid in the refrigerator truck. Back at the Museum, we laid it out as best we could to let it start thawing. It was in really great shape.