A Beached Whale Carcass Is Rotting on the Shores of Newfoundland

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 30 2014 5:54 PM

Newfoundland Town Is Hoping a Beached Whale Carcass Won’t Explode

screen_shot_20140430_at_5.50.35_pm
A Newfoundland resident being interviewed in front of the whale carcass.

CBC/CNN

The 60-ton carcass of a blue whale is rotting on the shore of a town named Trout River, in Newfoundland, and its residents are worried it is going to explode.

The chance of the whale exploding is low, according to Jack Lawson, a research scientist in Canada's fisheries department, though his explanation of what will probably happen instead isn’t comforting either:

“At some point, the skin of the animal will lose some of its integrity as all of the connective tissue starts to break down,” said Lawson. “Eventually, that gas will seep out . . . It will just deflate like an old balloon.”
Advertisement

Emily Butler, the town clerk in Trout River, is concerned about the stench from the carcass and of viruses that could be emitted while it’s rotting, and advises residents to stay away from it.

Poor whale.

Kelly Tunney is a Slate intern in New York City.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Use Facebook to Reconnect With Old Friends, Share Photos, and Serve People With Legal Papers

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?