Thursday, November 13, 2008

Belated Exploding Whale Day

There are three types of exploding whale. One is an explosion triggered by the natural buildup of internal gasses, while another is by using dynamite. The last is the kind where children sit around eating sandwiches and watching it explode. Okay, so that last one doesn't really happen all that often, but my friend, Kevin Arnold of the Robopocalypse Comics Collective, created an image so relevant, it's needs to be in this post.

Art by Kevin Arnold, 2008
(Click for full-size image.)

Yesterday marked the 38th anniversary of the explosion of a whale near Florence, Oregon. If you haven't seen the video I definitely recommend viewing it as soon as possible. The reporter in the video, Paul Linnman, still remembers "making his way out of the area as huge chunks of blubber fell everywhere." Yes, these huge chunks of blubber even traveled a quarter mile away and rained down on the land, including an unfortunately smashed in car. Luckily, no one was hurt, although they all went away with little souvenirs -- dead whale particles all over themselves. Sounds fun, right?

Now, for the other type of exploding whale, we can turn to a sperm whale in Taiwan in 2004. This whale had died naturally and was simply being carted off to a research facility to be necropsied. The problem? Well, have you ever tried to relocate a whale on a flatbed truck? Sadly, the Physeter macrocephalus couldn't hold the gas in long enough, and exploded on the streets and people nearby.

A couple years before that, in 2002, a mature female orca beached near Dungeness Spit in Washington. The Seattle PI reports, "The necropsy, performed on a trailer, was neither pretty to see nor pleasant to smell. Scientists from state, federal and private organizations cut off the head, which almost exploded with gas when first punctured." Lucky for the scientists and people gathered around, there was no explosion to be had.


lconcord said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! what the hell were they thinking??!?!?!?

Liza said...

Libby - I know, right?!