Killer whale bomb

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A whale was dynamited and exploded in 1970 in Florence, Oregon. It was captured on film by KATU and became one of the most widely publicized instances of a whale exploding. This still was taken from a 4K remaster of the original 16 mm film released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the footage.

Multiple whale carcasses have exploded from gas buildup during the decomposition process. If a whale were to beach itself, this is what would happen. As part of a beach cleanup effort, actual explosives have been used to help dispose of whale carcasses, typically after towing the carcass out to sea. In 1928, it was reported that improper chemical usages had ruined an attempt to preserve a body.

In November 1970, the Oregon Highway Division (now the Oregon Department of Transportation) attempted to dispose of a decaying sperm whale carcass by blowing it up with dynamite in Florence, Oregon. This incident received widespread media coverage. After the explosion, the smell of whale flesh could be smelled from as far as 800 feet (240 meters) away. In 1990, American humorist Dave Barry wrote about the explosion after seeing TV footage of it, and the same footage from news station KATU eventually made its way around the Internet. After being mocked in Reno 911! : Miami (2007) and Swinging Safari (2018), it was recognized in 2023 by the Minor League Baseball team the Eugene Emeralds.

In 2004, a decomposing sperm whale carcass was being transported through a crowded urban area in Taiwan when it spontaneously burst due to the buildup of gas inside the carcass. Canada, South Africa, Iceland, Australia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom have all reported additional cases, both natural and manmade. The International Whaling Commission has sanctioned governments' use of artificial explosions in times of crisis. Nonetheless, it has a lasting odor, which has been a point of contention. [1]

The Good Ol' USA [ edit ]

Event [ edit ]

On November 9, 1970[2], a sperm whale measuring 45 feet (14 meters) in length washed up on the shore in Florence, in central Oregon. Eight short tons (16,000 lb; 7,300 kg) was the estimated weight of the carcass [3, 4]. The Highway Division of the state of Oregon, in consultation with the United States Navy, decided to use dynamite to get rid of the whale because they thought the fragments would be small enough for scavenger animals to eat.

George Thornton, the operation's engineer, told an interviewer that he wasn't sure how much dynamite would be needed because his supervisor had gone hunting and he'd been tasked with removing the whale. Half a short ton (450 kg) of dynamite was chosen as the charge. [6][7] A local military veteran with explosives experience warned that the twenty cases of dynamite they had planned was far too much. 4 lb or 3 He recommended using 8 kg[8], but his suggestion was disregarded. [3]

The dynamite was set off at 3:45 p.m. on November 12. [2] KATU-TV cameraman Doug Brazil caught the ensuing explosion on film for a story by Paul Linnman of Portland, Oregon. Linnman made a joke about how "land-lubber newsmen" morphed into "land-blubber newsmen" in the voiceover. because that blubber is ridiculously unbelievable even after being blasted. Large chunks of blubber were thrown by the blast and landed a fair distance from the beach, near buildings and in parking lots. The majority of the whale was still intact on the beach when it was cleared by the Oregon Highway Division. Linnman also noted in his report that scavenger birds did not show up despite hopes that they would eat what was left of the carcass after the explosion. The veteran explosives expert had just purchased a brand new car at a "Get a Whale of a Deal" sale in a nearby city when it was destroyed by a falling blubber. [3]

Linnman summed up his experience by saying, "It might be concluded that, should a whale ever be washed ashore in Lane County again, those in charge will not only remember what to do, they will certainly remember what not to do." State parks officials burned and buried 41 beached sperm whales in 1979. [9]

When asked about how everything went later that day, Thornton told the Eugene Register-Guard, "It went just exactly right."   And some of the whale pieces were blown back toward the onlookers and their cars because the blast funneled a hole in the sand under the whale. [10]

Several months after the incident, Thornton was promoted to the Medford office, where he remained until his retirement. When Linnman contacted Thornton in the mid-1990s, the reporter said Thornton believed the operation had been successful overall but had been turned into a public relations disaster due to negative press coverage. [11]

State parks in Oregon have a policy of burying whale bodies in situ. If the sand is too shallow, they must move to a different beach. [12]

Revitalized curiosity [ edit ]

Dave Barry, in his Miami Herald column on May 20, 1990, brought the story to widespread public attention by claiming that he had footage of the event. Barry remarked, "We watch it frequently, especially at parties, here at the institute." After a condensed version of the article was posted on message boards with the headline "The Far Side Comes to Life in Oregon," the Oregon State Highway division began receiving calls from the media. The fact that the event occurred roughly twenty-five years prior was not mentioned in the unattributed version of Barry's article. Barry later revealed that he regularly received copies of his own column from readers who wanted him to expand on the aforementioned incident. [13] Due to these omissions, the ODOT's TranScript article states,

The Oregon Department of Transportation's public affairs coordinator, Ed Schoaps, said, "We started getting calls from curious reporters across the country right after the electronic bulletin board story appeared." "They suspected the whale had washed up on shore recently, and they were keen to uncover a blubber flub-up on the part of the government." They were saddened by the fact that the tale is now 25 years old. "

In Oregon, San Francisco, and Washington, D. Schoaps has taken calls from journalists and curious citizens. C , and the Bay State Calling from the Wall Street Journal: D.C. C In their June issue, editors at Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., discussed the timeless tale of the beached whale. Also, the phone won't stop ringing I get calls about this story on a regular basis," Schoaps said. His phone, he said, has become ODOT's official "blubber hotline." The fact that nearly 25 years later, people are still calling about this story astounds me. "[7]

The KATU footage eventually made its way back online, this time in the form of a video file, and quickly went viral. According to a 2006 study, 350 million people had viewed the video on various websites. A new park in Florence will be named "Exploding Whale Memorial Park" by popular vote in 2020,[15] and a plaque commemorating the event will be placed there in the following year. [1] To commemorate the event's half-century milestone, KATU unearthed the original 16 mm film footage and broadcast it in 4K. Locals were also said to have visited the beach while dressed as whales in honor of the occasion. [1]

Taiwan [ edit ]

On January 29, 2004, another whale explosion was reported in Tainan City, Taiwan. This time, gas built up inside a dead sperm whale until it burst, causing an explosion. Because it started in the whale's back instead of its belly, the cause of the phenomenon was initially a mystery. A large shipping vessel had likely run into the whale, damaging its spine and weakening the area, ultimately leading to the whale's death. It took three large cranes and fifty workers more than thirteen hours to load the whale's carcass onto the back of a truck after it had beached on Taiwan's southwestern coast.

While the whale was being relocated, Taiwan News reported, " More than 600 Yulin locals and tourists, as well as vendors selling snacks and hot beverages, braved the cold wind to watch workers attempt to remove the dead marine leviathan. [19] After being denied permission to conduct a necropsy at Tainan's National Cheng Kung University, Professor Wang Chien-ping ordered the whale's relocation to the Sutsao Wild Life Reservation Area. The whale carcass was being transported from a university lab to a preserve when the container containing it burst near the city center of Tainan. When the whale exploded, it splattered blood and entrails all over the storefronts, onlookers, and cars in the area. [20] However, no one was hurt and the necropsy on the animal went ahead as planned despite the explosion. [21]

Wang spent about a year crafting a bone exhibit from the whale's remains. Since April 8, 2005, the Taijiang Cetacean Museum has featured the assembled specimen, along with some preserved organs and tissues. [22]

Others [ edit ]

  • As early as 1928, businessmen Harold L. The Anfinger and the M C Hutton's attempts to preserve a whale carcass for a sideshow were scuttled when the embalmer they hired badly misjudged the balance of salt and formaldehyde necessary to preserve the specimen, causing it to explode. [23]
  • In January of 2011, a dead whale washed up on the shore of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, just yards from Moby's Pub in Ganges Harbour. According to a book written by David Spalding, the animal exploded, and its blubber "hung in the trees for weeks." [24]
  • Explosives are commonly used for the disposal of whale carcasses, but towing the whales out to sea is a common pre-requisite. South Africa, Iceland, and Australia have all experienced explosions authorized by their respective governments. [25][26]
  • South Africa has been the site of several carefully detonated explosions. A beached humpback whale was killed with explosives twenty-five miles (forty kilometers) west of Port Elizabeth on August 6, 2001[27], and a beached southern right whale was also killed with explosives on September 15, 2005, near Cape Town. The authorities claimed the whale was beyond saving in the latter case, and that explosives were standard procedure per the International Whaling Commission's guidelines. A second humpback whale's corpse was dragged out to sea and exploded with explosives a few weeks after the Port Elizabeth blast to ensure it would not endanger passing ships. On September 20, 2004, an adult humpback whale beached itself and died, prompting a second explosion in Bonza Bay. The whale was sunk after being towed out to sea, having explosives attached to it, and then being detonated remotely. [30]
  • On June 5, 2005, a whale carcass was split in half using a controlled explosion after floating into the Icelandic harbor of Hafnarfjörur. After being dragged out to sea, the bodies eventually drifted back and had to be secured. [25]
  • An unprecedented 31 2-foot (9 A 15-foot-long (4.75 m) humpback whale that had been stranded for two weeks near the city of Albany in Western Australia was killed with explosives by the Department of Environment and Conservation. The department originally intended to let the whale die of natural causes, but after it relocated to a sandbar, they decided to kill it with explosives. [26]
  • On November 26, 2013, in Vi ir, Faroe Islands, a sperm whale carcass ruptured despite efforts to prevent further rupture by perforating its skin. Kringvarp Froya, the national Faroese broadcaster, aired footage of the incident. [32]
  • Officials in Trout River, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, were worried in April 2014 that a blue whale carcass that had washed ashore might explode because it had swollen to twice its normal size due to trapped gas. [33]
  • A marine biologist attempting to perform a postmortem on one of three beached sperm whales near Skegness, United Kingdom in January 2016 was killed by the sudden release of gases from the carcass. A "huge blast of air" was generated by the explosion. [34]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b c d colliek2 "The Exploding Whale Affair | Extension's Responsible Travel Blog." Retrieved April 14, 2022
  2. ^ a b Stuart Tomlinson (2013-10-31; 30 October 2013) Oregon's "exploding whale" creator has passed away at the age of 84. pp  A1, A4 Republished from the 19th of March, 2017 Archive Retrieved On the 28th of February, 2017
  3. ^ a b c Finn J D John (2009-07-02) "The real story behind Florence, Oregon's exploding whale legend." Offbeatoregon com The original version was published on August 22nd, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2013
  4. ^ Paul G. Linnman and Douglas G. Brazil, Ch. 7 Linus reached out to Dr. Bruce Mate, a marine biologist from Newport's Hatfield Marine Science Center, was there to witness it. Dr Not a gray whale, according to the mate, but a sperm whale.
  5. ^ Highway Workers Plan to Destroy a Whale Near Florence. The Statesman Oregon's Salem AP The 12th of November, 1970 p  1 Date of original publication: November 13, 2020 Retrieved Wednesday, November 12 2020 - In the news media com
  6. ^ a b Paul Linnaeus "Video script with annotations." by J. Hackstadt's transcribing S. Hackstadt; KATU-TV The original version was published on February 17, 2006. Retrieved July 17, 2013
  7. ^ a b Barbara Mikkelson and David P. Mikkelson (March 19, 2000) Where She Blows! The Land of Critters snopes com This version was archived on March 29, 2020. Retrieved July 17, 2013
  8. ^ The second page of the Austin Powder Guide, Dynamite edition. (PDF) The original archived version (PDF) March 21, 2012 Retrieved 9 June 2012
  9. ^ A "Blubbing Son" Employee newspaper (translation) of the Oregon Department of Transportation July 1994 The original version was published on July 17, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2007
  10. ^ On November 13, 1970, Larry Brown was born. When a whale is blown up, it's blown up big time. The Register-Guard of Eugene
  11. ^ Linnaeus, Paul (2003) Evening News: The Exploding Whale and Other Incredible Tales Doug Brazil's photographic work A Publication of the West Winds Press ISBN 978-1-55868-743-1
  12. ^ "Employees Bury Whale on Oregon Beach" KPTV March 9, 2009 Date of original upload: June 15, 2009 Retrieved March 9, 2009
  13. ^ David J. Barry (1996) The Internet and Dave Barry Ballantine Books, New York. pp  164–165 ISBN 978-0-517-59575-6 OCLC 34943209
  14. ^ Steven J. Hackstadt "The Proof" TheExplodingWhale com Date of original publication: November 9, 2013 Retrieved Sunday, November 17th, 2011 2013
  15. ^ That kid from Star Wars is the most popular viral video ever. BBC News Thursday, November 23, 2006 Date of original upload: March 9, 2011 Retrieved July 17, 2013
  16. ^ Bryan Pietsch (June 20th, 2020). 50 Years After the Blubber Blast, a Park Bears the Name "Exploding Whale" New York's Timely Paper Date of original publication: June 20, 2020 Retrieved June 20, 2020
  17. ^ Remastered for the 50th anniversary of the legendary Oregon event known as "The Exploding Whale," KATU Next Year's 11/12, 2020 Date of original publication: November 13, 2020 Retrieved It's the 12th of November, so what? 2020
  18. ^ Author: Parfitt, Troy 2008 Journal of Events in Asia: Experiences in the Other China Algora Publishing, New York. p  44 ISBN 978-0875865836
  19. ^ In Jason Pan (2004-01-27). The Tainan City sperm whale has exploded. the eTaiwan News
  20. ^ A whale has blown up in a city in Taiwan. BBC News Dated: January29, 2004 Date of original publication: August 22, 2014 Retrieved In the tenth day of December 2016
  21. ^ Literal "Taiwanese Whale Explosion" Strange Asian News May 22, 2009 The original version was published March 12th, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017
  22. ^ Matt Gibson (2008-08-03). This is not your average whale story. XPATMATT Date of original publication: March 12, 2017 Retrieved March 10, 2017
  23. ^ Lydia Pyne (2019) True Imitations: What Fake Items Can Teach Us About the Real Thing Bloomsbury, Sigma (London) pp  181–182 ISBN 978-1-4729-6183-9 OCLC 1079865992
  24. ^ David A. Spalding E (1998) West Coast Whales Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC. pp  118–121 ISBN 978-1-55017-199-0 OCLC 40982324
  25. ^ a b The whale was dragged out to sea and then back up the beach: "Hvalhr dregi t á haf og san aftur upp fjöru." (In Icelandic) June 5, 2005 Original version published January 12, 2008 Retrieved July 17, 2013
  26. ^ a b c A sick whale met a fiery demise. ABC News Tuesday, September 2, 2010 Saved in draft form 12 December 2013 Retrieved July 17, 2013
  27. ^ Timofei Byelo (Aug. 8, 2001). "Whale Was Blown Up Using Explosives in South Africa." Pravda ru In the original format from November 28, 2004 Retrieved June 6, 2005
  28. ^ Explosives used to kill a beached whale. Today's edition of the Sydney Morning Herald 15 September 2005 The original version was published on October 25, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2013
  29. ^ "Dead humpback found adrift." Dispatchonline As of the 22nd of August, 2001 The original version was published on July 11, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2007
  30. ^ "Towed beached whale, blew it up at sea." SABCnews Sunday, September 20, 2004 Website originally posted on January 11, 2008 Retrieved January 8, 2007
  31. ^ The stranded whale in the harbor will be blown up. ABC News When: Tuesday, September 2, 2010 The original version was published on February 14, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2013
  32. ^ Hvalurin brestur vi ir. Froya Kringvarp Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 On November 29, 2013, the original website was archived. Retrieved November 26 2013
  33. ^ "Newfoundland town'might explode' due to dead blue whale," BBC News April 29, 2014 Date of original publication: April 29, 2014 Retrieved April 29, 2014
  34. ^ While the coast guard is looking into the fifth sighting, a whale "explodes" on Skegness beach. Daily Mirror 25 January 2016 Date of original publication: January 25, 2016 Retrieved On the 25th of January, 2016

Reading Further [ edit ]

  • David A. Barry (1991) Dave Barry Responds Three Rivers Press, New York pp  21–24 ISBN 978-0-517-58868-0 OCLC 23741203
  • Paul Jennings. 1995. Incredible! More Incredible Tales Puffin Books, New York. ISBN 978-0-14-037576-3 OCLC 33954695
  • Paul Linnaeus and Douglas Brazil 2003 Evening News: The Exploding Whale and Other Incredible Tales WestWinds Press, of Portland, Oregon ISBN 978-1-55868-743-1 OCLC 52948932
  • By Patrick B. O'Brian (1937). Editor Herbert Herbert ) Two's Company in Boys' Annual of The Oxford University Press Oxford University Press, London. pp  5–18
  • Author: Reisdorf, Achim G Benecke, Mark; Klug, Christian; Maisch, Michael W.; Bux, Roman; Wyler, Daniel; Klug, Christian; Peter Fornaro and Andreas Wetzel (2012) What happens to marine vertebrates after they die, flounder, blow up, or sink? (PDF) Ancient life and prehistoric ecosystems In: Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 92, 1, pp. 92: 67–81 doi:[[10]]1007/s12549-011-0067-z S2CID 129712910 Archived (PDF) on March 5, 2021, from the original version Retrieved March 1, 2021
  • Jim Tour & Michael Knodel January 1995 Explosive Destruction of Animal Bodies Technology Development Program, United States Forest Service; Missoula, Montana. OCLC 42276661

Internet resources [ edit ]

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