How to pickle a shark

Greenland sharks are elusive creatures that spend most of their time in the deep sea around the Arctic Circle. They are rarely found in coastal waters and hardly ever travel as far south as the UK.

So when one washed up dead on a beach in Northumberland, Museum fish curators Ollie Crimmen and James Maclaine jumped at the opportunity to learn more about these mysterious creatures.

By preserving the whole shark in alcohol they have ensured that researchers will be able to study it for centuries. 

The shark is nearly three metres long and preserving it was no easy task.

Crimmen and Maclaine first examined its stomach and took some tissue samples, before injecting it with preservatives and lowering it into a tank of alcohol - with the help of a few extra curators. 

Discover the shark's story

Find out more about the shark and its journey to the Museum.

Discover oceans

Find out more about oceans and the Museum's marine science.