British Town Uses Oregon’s ‘Exploding Whale’ Fiasco to Teach Physical Distancing

Here are some reasons why you should stay at home, told by an 'Exploding Whale' and a Russian military hero.
Derya Ozdemir

Unfortunately, it is pretty often that people don’t listen to sound advice from experts and get things blow up – in this case, literally, in their faces. Fittingly, the story of a disastrous attempt to blow up a dead whale on a beach in Florence, Oregon, in the United States, was used by a British council to convince people to stay at home. 

Doncaster Council shared the tale of a poor sperm whale that died and washed ashore in November 1970s, and how city officials attempted to blow up the 45-foot 8-ton mammal in order to get rid of it. What an idea! 


They recounted the story in a series of threads, explaining how dynamite was used to explode the rotting whale carcass in front of a crowd of spectators. We are not blaming them, smartphones weren’t invented yet, and the only fun they could have had was watching a whale get blown-up. What could go wrong? 

Well, as you can guess, a lot could go wrong. Their plan in its entirety was this: They would blow it up dynamite and hope that seagulls ate all the small chunks. George Thornton, who was the engineer in charge of the explosion, wasn’t sure how much dynamite would be enough, so he would settle on half a tonne.

An ex-member of the military would warn that just a few sticks of dynamite would be enough; however, Thornton and his team were ambitious people with a mission in mind.

On a dreary November morning, they exploded the whale, and akin to a movie, massive chunks of blubber flew through the air and rained down on the spectators. 

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It’s raining whale carcass, hallelujah? 

In order to recap the story, they gave three important COVID-19 lessons.

Or else you might get whale guts, lumps, gunk and blood all over you. This is not a threat, just facts.

Truer words were never said. 

Moreover, they also shared the story of the Russian military hero Stanislav Petroc, who averted a nuclear war in 1983 when his patience revealed an American attack on the Soviet Union was a false alarm. 

These stories shared by Doncaster Council are truly inspiring since they remind us that in order to be heroes, we just have to stay at our homes. Being a superhero for the people in-need has been never easier.