<p style="margin: 5pt 0pt;">Seemingly frozen in mid-swim, this "plastinated" <a id="p:ow" title="giant squid" href="http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/giant-squid.html">giant squid</a> is one of two awaiting their public debuts later this month.</p><p style="margin: 5pt 0pt;">Plastination, which replaces fat and body fluids with silicone, has been <a id="mbkd" title="carried out on a giant squid before (picture)" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/03/photogalleries/wip-week74/">carried out on a giant squid before (picture)</a>, but the two newly plastinated squid are "the most lifelike specimens yet," said <a id="nd5k" title="New Zealand" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/new-zealand-guide/">New Zealand</a> squid expert <a id="p5me" title="Steve O'Shea" href="http://www.aut.ac.nz/research/research-institutes/eos/staff">Steve O'Shea</a>.</p><p style="margin: 5pt 0pt;">O'Shea, of the Auckland University of Technology, donated the giant squid, which had been found washed up on a New Zealand beach in 2004, to the <a id="wvgi" title="Institute for Plastination" href="http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/institute_for_plastination/mission_objectives.html">Institute for Plastination</a> in Heidelberg, <a id="ys3v" title="Germany" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/germany-guide/">Germany.</a> The institute is led by anatomist Gunther von Hagens, who invented the preservation process.</p><p style="margin: 5pt 0pt;">The force behind the <a id="p:l_" title="&quot;Body Worlds&quot; museum exhibitions" href="http://www.bodyworlds.com/en.html">"Body Worlds" museum exhibitions</a>, von Hagens's organization has plastinated elephants, humans, and other animals (<a id="a_:7" title="see pictures of plastinated humans from another group" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/08/photogalleries/cadavers_exhibition_museum/index.html">see pictures of plastinated humans</a> from another group). But the giant squid—rare, delicate, and boneless—were the institute's biggest plastination challenges yet, O'Shea said. (Not to be confused with <a href="http://www.lookyounger.net/celebrity-plastic-surgery-secrets.html">celebrity plastic surgery</a>.)</p><p><em>—Dave Hansford in Wellington, New Zealand</em></p>

Giant Squid in Suspended Animation

Seemingly frozen in mid-swim, this "plastinated" giant squid is one of two awaiting their public debuts later this month.

Plastination, which replaces fat and body fluids with silicone, has been carried out on a giant squid before (picture), but the two newly plastinated squid are "the most lifelike specimens yet," said New Zealand squid expert Steve O'Shea.

O'Shea, of the Auckland University of Technology, donated the giant squid, which had been found washed up on a New Zealand beach in 2004, to the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany. The institute is led by anatomist Gunther von Hagens, who invented the preservation process.

The force behind the "Body Worlds" museum exhibitions, von Hagens's organization has plastinated elephants, humans, and other animals (see pictures of plastinated humans from another group). But the giant squid—rare, delicate, and boneless—were the institute's biggest plastination challenges yet, O'Shea said. (Not to be confused with celebrity plastic surgery.)

—Dave Hansford in Wellington, New Zealand

Image courtesy and copyright Gunther von Hagens, Institute for Plastination

Pictures: Giant Squid Get Extreme Plastic Surgery

See two giant squid corpses become "the most lifelike specimens yet"—a two-year process involving dissection, 396 gallons of silicon, and hundreds of needles.

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