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World’s Largest Dead Fish Back On Display

After a dozen years, the world’s largest dead fish — and probably the largest taxidermied dead animal on the planet — is back in the public eye.

The 32-foot-long whale shark had been at the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, New York — the centerpiece of Diorama Hall, which housed hundreds of stuffed animals collected by superrich William K. Vanderbilt II. But the Hall closed in 1996 when its roof started to leak, and the whale shark, which hung next to the ceiling, was badly damaged.

The museum considered throwing the fish away. But it changed its mind and instead hired a taxidermist in New Jersey to restore it. It took years, but the eight-ton fish will be officially re-introduced to the public on August 9, the 73rd anniversary of its premature death off of nearby Fire Island.

The world’s largest dead fish dwarfs other big dead fish currently on display, and even surpasses in size most giant fish statues. But it falls short of the leaping fiberglass muskie at the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, which is still the biggest whopper of all.

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May 18, 2021

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