When Exploding Whales Goes Horribly Wrong

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Lisa Winter

Guest Author

clockApr 30 2014, 21:28 UTC
807 When Exploding Whales Goes Horribly Wrong
KATU-TV/YouTube via NPR

Yesterday we brought you the story of a blue whale that washed up on the shore of a small town in Canada. The people in the town don’t have the resources to deal with the carcass properly, but aren’t getting any help from the federal government. Dead whales become grossly inflated from gas buildup as they decompose, so the clock is ticking as the people of Trout River decide what to do. 

Luckily, they have a perfect example of what NOT to do thanks to the town of Florence, Oregon who were faced with a similar situation in 1970. Instead of dealing with the animal responsibly by popping it or dragging it back out to sea where scavengers could deal with the carcass, it was decided that the whale could be blasted out into the water using dynamite. The blast was planned to be strong enough to clear the whale from the beach while also vaporizing any stray whale bits that resulted in the explosion.


Unfortunately, the amount of dynamite was not properly calculated and the result was quite messy. This story has served as a cautionary tale for whale disposal ever since. Check out what happened:

[Image hat tip NPR]

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  • exploding whales