Yes, you read that correctly. Back in 2004, a whale exploded in the city streets of Tainan, Taiwan.
Before you assume that Taiwanese geniuses have developed some sort of biological weapon of mass destruction, you should know that this accident happened while some marine scientists were trying to move a 56-foot, 6-ton sperm whale from the ocean (where it had died) to a research facility to perform a necropsy on it. Unfortunately, while the whale was being transported through a busy city street, the whale literally burst open due to the gasses from decomposition building up in his* abdomen. It splattered whale blood, blubber and entrails over surrounding cars, bystanders, and storefronts. Bits of bloody whale bits were found blocks away.
I know this because Yoshi & I watched a fascinating British documentary entitled “The Whale that Exploded” on the National Geographic Channel and although I was totally grossed out by some of the footage from the scene, I couldn’t help but to keep watching. This documentary actually came out about a year ago and it explored the various contributing factors as to why this happened, along with eyewitness reports and photos of the bloody mess.
I’ve been trying to convince Yoshi to join me on a trip to Taiwan later this year, but this program did not help my cause. As a horrified Yoshi watched images of bloody whale intestines laying next to a moped, I heard the words, “I am not going to a place where whales explode in the streets!” being uttered over and over.
“Actually,” I stated matter-of-factly, “Only ONE whale ever exploded in the streets of Taiwan. And it’s probably not going to happen again since they’ve already learned the lesson the hard way.” Let’s not let one teeny tiny whale explosion totally ruin the Taiwanese tourism industry, shall we?
You can catch this program as an episode of NatGeo’s “Wild” series and get all the gory details about the whale explosion — if you dare.
*Did you notice I said “his?” How do we know that the sperm whale was a male? Photos of a 5 foot long schlong protruding from the whale carcass was pretty good evidence!