A few weeks ago a 80-foot-long blue whale carcass washed up in the tiny Newfoundland town of Trout River, after dying when heavy ice broke out in the seas.
The whale is massively bloated — its currently about double its normal size. The bloat seems to have been caused by methane gas released by the decomposing body.
“The whale is blowing up. It looks as if it’s a big balloon, from a distance,” Trout River’s town clerk Emily Butler, told CBC news.
It’s about to start smelling very bad, too. But local and federal authorities are arguing over who needs to foot the bill for its clean up, according to BBC News .
What to do with a dead whale is actually a big question. You can’t really move it, as they tend to weigh tons. You can’t push it out to sea, since it would pose a risk to passing ships. You could cut it up, but that’s one dirty job.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is currently in discussion with a Canadian museum to take ownership of the whale, which “will be used to educate museum visitors,” according to Don Bradshaw from Canadian new agency NTV, who has been following the story.
Bradshaw has been tweeting some stunning pictures of the whale carcass.
Historically, one of the first viral internet videos was of a news story from 1970 of an exploding whale, when a town used too much dynamite. According to the just completely fantastic and hilarious news report:
The humour of the entire situation gave way to a run for survival, as huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere. A parked car over a quarter of a mile from the blast site was the target of one large chunk, the passenger compartment literally smashed. Fortunately no human was hit as badly as the car, however, everyone on the scene was covered in small particles of dead whale.
See the video here, with the explosion (and flying whale bits) at the 1:30 mark:
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