Starfish is one of the most fascinating marine creatures. From its unique shape to its beautiful colors, starfish are sure to catch your eye.
They are one of those bizarre and rare creatures which we want to take home with us and preserve as a beautiful memory.
Starfish are preserved and then taken to various places for various purposes.
Their preservation is something that many people do to take them home as a souvenir or decoration piece.
How to Preserve a Starfish?
The most common methods of preserving starfish include cleaning the starfish thoroughly but gently to remove all waste and environmental matter from it and then using some chemical agents like alcohol, baking soda, bleach, and salt to dry it out and prevent its putrefaction.
Starfish can be preserved in many ways, some of them are described below.
But always make sure that the starfish that you are preserving is already dead.
The starfish population is already at a threat of going extinct, and all of us must play a part to make sure that it survives.
1. Preservation Using Alcohol
Wash the starfish using soap to remove any dead or alive matter which is stuck to the body. After washing it, place the starfish in a container filled with alcohol.
You must ensure that the starfish is completely drowned in alcohol. Leave the container for 24 hours.
The next day, take it out and place it under the direct sun to make it dry out completely. When the stench of alcohol totally disappears, it means that the starfish has dried completely.
Your starfish is now preserved and can be used as decor or for other known purposes.
2. Preservation Using Baking Soda
Starfish can also be preserved by soaking it in baking soda.
In a bowl, create a mixture of water and baking soda. Place the dead starfish in the mixture.
Make sure that the starfish is completely covered with the mixture.
Leave the starfish in the mixture for the next 48 hours. After 48 hours, remove it and place it in direct sunlight.
Your starfish will be preserved forever after the drying process in sunlight is over.
3. Preservation Using Bleach
You must be wondering how bleach can be used to preserve starfish as it is a chemical usually used for cleaning.
Bleach, typically made from chlorine, hydrogen peroxidase, and sodium hypochlorite can work as a drying agent to preserve starfish.
You just have to soak the starfish in a container filled with bleach for a minimum of six hours. After that remove the starfish from the container and dry it in sunlight.
This method is comparatively faster and also removes the smell that is often associated with dead marine creatures.
4. Preservation with Salt
This method uses a comparatively less harsh chemical, which is salt. First, wash the starfish gently with soap.
Next, place it on a plate full of salt. Normal table salt works well enough.
The salt will remove all moisture and excess water from the body of the starfish.
After a few hours, remove it from the dish of salt and place it in sunlight for drying. Once it is dried, it is ready to become a beautiful ornament for your house or aquarium.
Prevent the Starfish from Curling Up
While the starfish is kept in any chemical for drying, pin its arms to the side with any heavy object so that it does not shrivel up.
A starfish tends to shrivel into a ball when it dries down which won’t help with any décor purpose.
Starfish as an Ornament
Once your starfish is preserved, there are so many things you can do with it.
From keeping it as a beautiful memory of the beach to using it as an ornament on your desk or car dash, the list is really endless. I’ve listed a few of them below.
1. Photo Frame
The simplest but most timeless way to show off your fascinating souvenir is to frame your starfish and use it as a wall hanging.
This is quite easy to do and also ensures that your memory stays preserved and safe for a long time.
2. Car Rearview Mirror Pendant
Isn’t it nice to have something that reminds you of the things that make you happy, even when you are miles away from home?
Or a little token that takes you back to a sweet memory?
You can do exactly that by hanging your preserved starfish around your car’s rearview mirror like a pendant. All you need to do is poke a string through it and you are good to go!
Or better yet, tape it to your car’s windshield and let the world know you are an ocean lover.
3. Dining Room Table Ornament
If you feel like your dining room is a bit bland in ambiance but you don’t know what it is missing, you are not alone.
Sometimes all your place needs is one tiny touch, one little decor. That is where the preserved starfish comes in.
Your starfish can be an excellent centerpiece for your dining room. Place it in a glass bowl and it will leave your guests amazed.
You can also click the link here to know more about how to decorate a dried starfish.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Preserve a Starfish
Can I keep starfish in an aquarium?
Starfish can be kept as pets in an aquarium quite easily. However, one has to properly research and understand the requirements and nature of this creature to make sure that it survives. Furthermore, one has to make sure that other species in the aquarium do not pose a threat to the starfish.
Can I throw starfish into the water?
You should never attempt to throw starfish into the water. Starfish are very fragile creatures, touching them might cause them a lot of damage. Furthermore, throwing anything requires a lot of force and momentum which is something a starfish’s fragile and delicate body won’t be able to handle.
What will happen to a starfish after it dies?
After a starfish dies, all its body’s water is pushed out of its cells. This gives the starfish a shriveled appearance. The size of the starfish reduces significantly as compared to when it was alive. This process takes several hours or weeks depending on how many days the starfish has been dead.