A Very Science Halloween

By Michelle Marraffini Invertebrate Zoology

Saturday night Elkhorn Yacht Club graciously hosted MLML’s annual Halloween party!  This year’s party included a great number of science themed pumpkins and costumes.   Each lab is given a pumpkin the week prior to the party and asked to carve it as part of a contest.  The entries also included underwater pumpkins from the dive class.  I got the opportunity to tag along with the Scientific Dive class this past Friday and carve one of my own.  My dive partner Kristin and I struggled to hold the very buoyant pumpkin still at 20 feet depth, while we took turns using our dive knives to carve shapes into our pumpkin.  Can you guess what it is?  (Hint: we are both in the invertebrate zoology lab).

It's a snail!

Photo by: M. Marraffini

The Invertebrate Lab’s offical pumpkin, for the contest, was a carving of a cuttlefish (Photo below with one of our new students Catherine Drake).  The results from the contest have not yet been tallied but in my opinion it was the best (I may be a little biased in this area).  I just heard the results are in…we did win the pumpkin carving contest!


Cuttlefish pumpkin

Photo by: M. Marraffini

The party also included costume contests for best costume, most scientific, best faculty costume, best group costume, funniest costume, and scariest costume.   There was some stiff competition this year for most scientific including a costume of an electrophoresis gel (gel used view products from polymerase chain reaction used to amplify DNA), a whale fall costume complete with whale skeleton and invertebrates that live on or near the bones, the rocky intertidal with a limpet, barnacle and ochre seastar, a blue crab lifecycle, and a bacterial culturing experiment.   Below is a picture (Photo by Diane Wyse Physical Oceanography Lab) of the invertebrate lab’s rocky intertidal group costume, while it looked pretty good and we did not win the group costume contest. There’s always next year.  Happy Halloween!


Rocky Intertidal

Photo by: Diane Wyse

This entry was posted in Michelle Marraffini, What's Happening at MLML and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Very Science Halloween

  1. cephalopodiatrist says:

    Wait, you can’t list off all those absurd scientific costumes and not tell us who won! WHO WON?

    Also, I heart the cuttlefish-o-lantern.


    • mlmlblog says:

      The barnacle won most scientific and the bacteria culturing experiment one best group. A storm trooper won best costume and a man dressed as Dorothy from Wizard of Oz won funniest costume.
      So glad you liked the post!
      MLML blogger


  2. Greg Cailliet says:

    I heard there were two ichthyologists there – one old, the other newer. Anyone have any photos of them?


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