Photos: Donation of isopods

As soon as the five-gallon bucket gets pried open, the smell of preserved sea creature with a hint of rancid fat wafts up from this collection of giant isopods sitting in a laboratory at LSU.

“They are very lipid (fat) rich and the lipids don’t preserve very well so that’s what you’re smelling. That rancid smell,” said Robert Carney, a retired professor of oceanography and coastal studies at LSU.

These giant pill-bug looking creatures are just part of the 28-year collection of deep sea marine life that Carney is donating to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.