Barnacle

Sammy offer reduced recpetion

Visitor notice: From Monday 6 August – Friday 24 August there will be a reduced reception service at the park side entrance of the museum. Please excuse this disruption as we prepare for the opening of our four new galleries in September. Find out more about our new galleries

Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00-17.00
Admission: 
Free
Location: 
National Maritime Museum, First floor, Traders gallery

Blistering barnacles, what's that doing in here?

This single 11cm-tall barnacle was taken from the hull of an Indiaman (trading ship) and has other, smaller barnacles growing on it.

The gradual covering of hulls in barnacles and weed growth could severely affect the perfomance of sailing ships. The use of copper, as on Cutty Sark's hull, could reduce but not eliminate the process.

The date of this barnacle is not known but it is probably from the 19th century and was perhaps kept as an unusually striking example.