A dead blue whale has washed up on the small Newfoundland village of Trout River, worrying villagers and scientists alike that the titanic carcass could explode at any moment.
The deceased blue whale washed ashore on Trout River’s rocky beach, measuring approximately 25 meters end to end, or one fourth the length of a football field. It is believed to weigh in excess of three hundred and fifty thousand lbs.
As the massive whale corpse decomposes, bacteria feeding on the dead flesh are producing an alarming amount of methane gas, causing the carcass to bulge and inflate. It has now swollen to almost twice its original size.
Trout River Town Clerk Emily Butler says that the methane gas from the bloated dead whale will soon reek, regardless of whether or not it actually explodes. According to Ms Butler, the village populace of 600 people simply do not have the resources to safely deal with the carcass.
Canadian officials say it is the town’s responsibility.
Trout River has long been a tourist destination, inside Gros Morne National Park on the Canadian island’s west coast. And since the whale carcass came ashore, the village has been flooded with new visitors.
“It’s very difficult to keep people away, simply because it’s not too often that you see a blue whale,” Ms Butler stated in an interview with Canadian news outlet CBC.
In Noverember of 2013, a sperm whale carcass that washed up on the Faroe Islands exploded as a biologist attempted to dissect it…
VIDEO (Possibly NSFW depending on where you work:) Faroe Islands Exploding Sperm Whale
… And somebody filmed the sperm whale explosion, because of course somebody filmed the sperm whale explosion. And while nobody was hurt during the recording of the above video, it makes for a gnarly viewing experience nevertheless.
Currently, Trout River isn’t the only place dealing with the dead whale blues. Another body has washed ashore roughly 90 kilometres away, near a fishery in Rocky Harbor.
Blue whales come to feed on shrimp in the seas surrounding Newfoundland at this time of year. If there are easterly winds, then ice floes from the Strait of Belle Isle are pushed into open water, giving the whales an area through which they can swim to feed.
But if westerly winds occur, the ice can move closer to shore, crushing the whales, according to Department of Fisheries and Oceans researcher Jack Lawson. According to Lawson, these dead whales represent a a big blow to an already endangered species.
Meanwhile in Trout River, Newfoundland, the bickering continues between local and federal government officials as to who is going to dispose of the dead whale carcass, which is continuing to swell bigger, and bigger, and bigger.