Today’s exploding whale (caution: graphic photographs) is brought to you by dumb researchers at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan:
Residents of Tainan learned a lesson in whale biology after the decomposing remains of a 60-ton sperm whale exploded on a busy street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours.
The 56-foot-long whale had been on a truck headed for a necropsy by researchers, when gases from internal decay caused its entrails to explode in the southern city of Tainan.
I say “dumb” because this kind of problem can 1) be reasonably expected, and 2) be at least somewhat contained by covering the dead whale with a tarp or something.
You may be wondering what other exploding whales I have in mind that I would call this one “today’s” exploding whale. Well, there was a now-infamous incident in Florence, Oregon that occurred in 1970.
What was remarkable about that incident was not merely that the authorities decided that TNT was an ideal method for disposing of a beached whale carcass, nor the fact that large chunks of whale were subsequently responsible for damage to nearby cars, but that a local news crew caught the entire incident on video.
Dave Barry, not surprisingly, wrote a column about that one.
But the thing about the exploding whale in Taiwan that really makes it special, is this:
“More than 100 Tainan city residents, mostly men, have reportedly gone to see the corpse to ‘experience’ the size of its penis,” the newspaper reported.
I am, of course, resisting the urge to make a really bad joke about a certain Melville novel, the species of the whale in that novel, its name, and the MSNBC headline on the story.
UPDATE: The video link above now goes to a site that actually downloads the film in less than a zillion years.