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

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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.”
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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.

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