Whale Heart On Display At Beaufort Maritime Museum

You may know someone with a big heart, but you probably haven't seen one the size of the whale heart that is on display now in Beaufort.

The heart of a male sperm whale was put on display at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort Thursday morning. After a nine-year, 2,300 mile journey, the heart and skeleton of a male sperm whale is ready for the public to see this Valentine's Day week. The whale is named "Echo" and his skeleton currently hangs in the museum.

"We should all think about our hearts more often in many ways. It's good to have this display and since I'm a marine biologist I think it's great to bring biology into it and educate people," said Victoria Thayer.

"It felt very rubbery. I wasn't grossed out by it or anything, but I think it's fascinating that they're able to preserve it like that so that you can actually visualize what the inside looks like." said visitor Nan Holton.

The heart was plastinated at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Plastination is a process used to preserve body parts where the water and fat are replaced by plastics. Once plastinated, the body part can be touched and does not smell or decay.