Oregon's Infamous Exploding Whale
SPERM WHALES are amazing and beautiful mammals that inhabit all but the polar areas of the earths oceans. The problem presented was when an 8 ton sperm whale washed ashore in Florence, Oregon on November 12, 1970. The problem was the smell of the decaying carcass. A sperm whale is the largest of the toothed whales, has about a foot thick layer of blubber and the largest head and largest brain of any animal and is just...big!
The irony is this; the rep on the scene for the Oregon Highway Division, George Thornton, decided that blowing up the carcass was the solution. Why the Highway Division? Because, prior to roads being built, Oregon's beaches were the roads along the coast and thus they remain under the purvue of the Oregon State Highway Division. Why was it ironic? Just by chance there was an explosives expert, Walter Umenhofer, visiting the area who learned of the intent to use 20 cases of dynamite, half a ton. His suggestion of 20 sticks went unheeded. The explosion sent blubber flying a quarter mile away and people running for cover. The irony was that a car was smashed by a huge piece of blubber, the car belonging to the explosives expert who had just purchased the car from the Dunham Oldsmobile dealership in nearby Eugene, Oregon during their "Get A Whale of a Deal" promotion!
We have a great site, All Animal Jewelry, where we specialize in making realistic and beautiful animal jewelry and we have whales and other ocean dwelling creatures and shells and waves and...well, just go see for yourself!