A putrefied whale carcass that washed ashore on the Faroe Islands exploded in a biologist’s face, as he attempted to cut into the 45-foot mass of dead meat.
Marine biologist Bjarni Mikkelsen, of the National Museum of the Faroe Islands, was charged by the island government with the task of dressing the animal, in hopes of eventually putting its skeleton on display. Mikkelsen, wearing a full-body latex suit, approached the sperm whale, and what happened next is disgusting.
Mikkelsen commented on the blown-up whale, “The animal was more than two days old when we took it so we knew there would be some pressure on the inside, but nothing like what happened.” During the putrefaction process, various gasses begin to build up within the abdominal cavity of a carcass, specifically methane, sometimes resulting in animal explosions. These foul forces of nature are rare, though not unprecedented.
One of the more famous exploding whale incidents occurred in Florence, Oregon, in 1970. Though, the explosion in that instance wasn’t due to a buildup of putrefied juices; The Oregon Highway Division blew up the dead sperm whale (it turned out to be a sperm whale, even though the Highway Division called it a gray whale) with dynamite. The explosion ejected tons of filthy whale bits over 800 feet, showering onlookers with the fleshy detritus.
Below is another revolting exploding whale clip, of the 1970 incident:
Incidentally, the Faroe Islands are an island group and archipelago under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. The total area of the remote land is approximately 540 square miles.
The islands have been a self-governing country within the Danish Realm since 1948, and have taken control over most domestic matters over the years. Still, like with most protectorates, Denmark handles military defense, policing, justice, currency and foreign affairs.
Here’s an excellent documentary on the Faroe islands:
Image via YouTube.