Sometimes my job is gross, like when I’m told to go pick out things from the wet collection for exhibit. What’s a wet collection? I’m glad you asked:
The Memphis Pink Palace Museum has a wide variety of objects in our permanent collection, including a biological collection of organic specimen in jars. The “wet collection” is stored in fluid, usually a pure alcohol solution or a mixture of alcohol, formaldehyde and acetic acid. The specific type of liquid depends on the developmental stage of the animal and the intended use of the specimen. Specimens will last for several decades as long as they are stored in well-sealed containers in a cool room. The preserved animals can be used for research, teaching and exhibits. The Pink Palace’s collection consists of worms, jellyfish, reptiles, amphibians and a few mammals.
Samples from the wet collection will be on display in Animal Grossology, a temporary exhibit that opened January 24 and runs until April 19, 2015.