Dynamite was used to blow up a rotting beached whale, with unexpected consequences.
There have been two documented, notable incidents of exploding whales, as well as several lesser-known ones. The most famous explosion occurred in Florence, Oregon, United States, in 1970, when a dead gray whale was blown up bythe Oregon Highway Division in an attempt to dispose of its rotting carcass. This incident became famous when American humorist Dave Barry wrote about it in his newspaper column, and later via television footage of the incident that appeared on the Internet. The other well-reported case of an exploding whale was in Taiwan in 2004. In that incident, a buildup of gas inside a decomposing sperm whalecaused it to explode while it was being transported for post-mortem examination.
The IWC recommends exploding as an effective and instant method of putting down beached whales (ja ja ja).
The Oregon Highway Division failed to properly dispose of this whale carcass when they blew it up with one-half ton of dynamite.
In November 1970, a 14 m (45 ft.), eight ton gray whale died as aresult of beaching itself near Florence, Oregon. At the time, the Oregon Highway Division (now known as the Oregon Department of Transportation or ODOT) had jurisdiction over beaches and was given the task of removing the whale carcass. After consulting with officials at the United States Navy, they decided that it would be best to remove the whale in the same way they would remove a boulder and,on November 12, they used half a ton of dynamite to detonate the whale( oh si ! mentes brillantes en acción). This decision was made because they thought burying the whale would be ineffective, as it would soon be uncovered, and they believed the use of dynamite would cause an explosion that would disintegrate the whale into pieces small enough for scavengers to clear up. The engineer in charge ofthe operation, George Thornton, was recorded as stating that one set of charges might not be enough and more might be needed. The resulting explosion was caught on tape by television news reporter Paul Linnman. In his voiceover, Linnman joked that "land-lubber newsmen" became "land-blubber newsmen", for "the blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds." The explosion caused large pieces ofblubber to land quite large distance away from the beach, resulting in the people and in a smashed car. The explosion did not disintegrate most of the whale, which remained on the beach for the Oregon Highway Division workers to clear away.
The whale explosion in Taiwan happened due to a natural buildup of internal gases during its transportation to a research establishment near thesouthwestern city of Tainan.
Another whale explosion occurred on January 29, 2004, in Tainan, Taiwan. In this incident a buildup of gas inside a decomposing sperm whale measuring 17 meters (56 ft.) long and weighing 50 tons, caused it to burst.
The older bull whale had died after becoming beached on the southwestern coast of Taiwan, and it had taken more than 13 hours, three large cranes, and 50workers to shift the beached sperm whale onto the back of a truck.
While the whale was being moved, the website of the newspaper Taiwan News, eTaiwanNews.com, reported that "a large crowd of more than 600 local Yunlin residents and curiosity seekers, along with vendors selling snack food and hot drinks, braved the cold temperature and chilly wind to watch workmen try to haul away the dead marineleviathan". Professor Wang Chien-ping (王建平) had ordered the whale be moved to the Sutsao Wild Life Reservation Area (四草野生動物保護區) after he had been refused permission to perform a post-mortem at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan. The whale was being transported on the back of a truck through the center of Tainan from the university laboratory to the preserve when the explosion occurred....