The skeleton of a 23-meter-long whale is just one of the attractions of the Santos Fishing Museum , a place that once served as a stronghold to defend the entrance to the port of Santos and today houses a rich collection that helps to tell the story of the city and its relationship with the sea. Several stuffed animals, a beautiful collection of shells and a collection of beach sands from all over Brazil attract the attention of visitors.
With 23 meters in length, 193 bones and 7 tons, the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) was found stranded on a beach in Peruíbe (south coast of the State of São Paulo) in August 1941, in the middle of World War II – it was even mistaken by fishermen for a German submarine. The removal of the body from the sea had the help of the tide and ropes tied to the horns of two oxen. The following year, the skeleton arrived at the museum.
The Fisheries Museum has several taxidermized animals (technique for preserving the animal’s body after death, popularly known as “stuffing”). Among them, a giant squid 5 meters long and 91 kilos, of the species Architeuthis sp (the only one on display in the world).There is also the manta ray (Manta birostris), which has a wingspan of 4m40 and weighs 600 kilos.
In the Shark Room of the Fisheries Museum, there are exhibited, among others, a specimen of megaboca shark (Megachasma pelagius), with 1m90; a 1m80 dolphin shark (Lamna nasus); 1m70 humpback shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) and a 70cm beaked shark (Galeorhinus galeus), coming from the Azores Island.
Fun guaranteed for children is the space called “Captain’s Room”, which was made inspired by the film ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. In the scenario of the room with special lighting, there is an ark full of fake jewelry, a playful chest representing a treasure with imitations of gold coins, a sword made with resin and recycled material and the real skeleton of a monkey, as in the film. To complete the mood, a stuffed cat ‘meows’ for anyone trying to approach the captain’s bed.
There are also some navigation instruments, such as helm, flashlights, nautical chart, compass and bitácula. The imaginary figure was inspired by Captain Lieutenant Garcez Palha, who accompanied the construction of the building.
The Fishing Museum is housed in a fortification dating from the 18th century, Fort Augusto, built to “cross fire” with the Barra da Grande Fortress (located on the other side of the estuary channel), to protect the entrance to the Port of Santos. Then, in 1096, it housed the Escola de Aprendiz-Marinheiros and, from 1933, the Instituto de Pesca Marítima. It was transformed into a museum in 1942, with the arrival of the whale bone.Address: Avenida Bartolomeu de Gusmão, 192, Ponta da Praia. Phone: (13) 3261-5260
ALSO WORTH TO KNOW:
Santos Aquarium shows the richness of the marine world
Vila Belmiro, cradle of heroes and conquests
Orquidário de Santos gathers native species from the Atlantic Forest
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