A rotting whale carcass in Newfoundland could potentially explode. Here's what it would look like.

Residents -- and the Internet -- are bracing themselves for the possibility

Lindsay Abrams
May 1, 2014 10:55PM (UTC)

The 60-ton whale carcass rotting on the shore of Trout River, Newfoundland, has yet to explode, but people are waiting -- either apprehensively or giddily, depending on how close they are -- for that very possibility.

The beached whale, which is too big and volatile to move, has been rotting away for about a week now, its internal gases reportedly inflating it to twice its original size. One possible outcome of the methane buildup? As a metaphor, the Wire suggests popping a massive zit, although those with sensitive stomachs might want to picture New Year's party poppers, instead.


(Un)fortunately, according to HasTheWhaleExplodedYet.com -- which has lent a whole new meaning to the term "whale watching" -- we're probably going to avoid entrails confetti.

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Research scientist Jack Lawson prepared Newsweek for this very possibility, explaining that the other outcome of all this methane buildup could be that the carcass will “just deflate like an old balloon."


But still, what if the whale did explode? Your imagination could probably serve you well enough. But if you must know, a massive explosion of this sort happened in Taiwan in 2004  -- you can check out photos of the bloody aftermath at National Geographic. And, via the Atlantic, here's a slightly less ... expansive incident that occurred last November:

Lindsay Abrams

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