They Blew Up A Beached Whale In Oregon In 1970. Now They Celebrate Exploding Whale Day Every Year
If you watch one video on the internet today, let it be the one below about the origins of “exploding whale day”.
The town of Florence Oregon celebrated “Exploding Whale Day” on Sunday. It’s been 53-years since the November 12, 1970 exploding whale incident.
Back in November 1970, a whale died and washed up on the Oregon beach. According to reports, it had “been so long since a whale had washed up, no one remembered” what to do about it. Locals concocted a plan to get rid of the enormous animal by filling it with explosives and BLOWING IT UP.
The Oregon Department of Transportation was the brain trust behind the idea. They brought in one thousand pounds of TNT. Dynamite. The good stuff.
A sizeable crowd had gathered on the beach near the whale carcass. Back in the early 1970’s, blowing up a whale on the beach in the middle of the day is the kind of event that attracts a crowd. Quite frankly, it would probably attract a crowd today, too.
Police managed to disperse the crowd for their own safety, moving them a quarter mile away. They thought that distance was safe. Seems legitimate. Then again, no one has ever blown up an eight ton whale before. Maybe a quarter mile was still too close.
When the time came, the dynamite was detonated and the result was pure horror. The chunks of whale blubber flew everywhere. Whale chunks flew well beyond the quarter mile safety zone. Fortunately for us, the entire thing was captured on the local news station’s camera.
It’s a real life scene that rivals the great WKRP Cincinnati Turkey Drop promotion.
Well, every November 12th the community gathers to commemorate the insanity with Exploding Whale Day. They set up booths with environmental information. Locals wear there local Florence, Oregon t-shirts. And, they gather in their local park named after that infamous day. It’s called, “Exploding Whale Park”. The local news station sometimes comes out to cover Exploding Whale Day.
The crazy event is so engraved in local folklore that there’s a website dedicated to it. Check this out.
And now, preserved at wrat dot com is the original news report from that fateful day. Thanks to today’s No Sweat News.