A 52-foot-long, life-size model of Megalodon, love to build that wouldn’t you; get it into the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC?
Well, that’s exactly what has happened thanks to the sculpting talents of Gary Staab, who has custom built this huge prehistoric beast for the Smithsonian’s museum, the largest predator the oceans ever saw. There’s of course been a huge increase in the interest in the history of these creatures since the release of The Meg – based on the series of best-selling novels by Steve Alten – last year. Catch our interview with Steve here.
And this Megalodon has got a smile like a huge son-of-a-bitch, one that his nine feet wide. This fish really will swallow you whole. So, how does one go about creating a life-size model of a Meg when only huge teeth and calcified vertebrae remain?
Time travelling back 3.6 million years ago to when they last dominated the sea was obviously not a viable option, so Staab and his museum collaborators used a formula derived from Meg tooth length and the body geometry of modern relatives – now widely accepted to be more closely related to the mako than the great white as first thought.
The talented Staab then hand-sculpted a detailed six foot clay model and upscaled it from there with a laser-scanner and built it from an astonishing 386 foam pieces that he used as a template to wrap 21 fibreglass panels on top, before constructing from the inside out.
Gary Staab said: “My job is not to have a style, but rather to be the animal – to make that thing as believable as possible.”
And where is this model located, rather suitably where people are lining up for a hot lunch, 85 feet above a new café. That should give diners some food for thought.
Not to be out done, Bruce will soon be he heading to a museum near you – as long as you live in LA – as he’ll soon be one of the star attractions at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Museum Junkyard Jaws.
By Dean Newman
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