In 1970, a whale exploded and it has COVID-19 links: Know more

The Doncaster Council recounted the incident when a dead sperm whale was found on the shore in Florence and the city officials decided to remove the carcass by exploding it with a dynamite

whale explosion, coronavirus, COVID-19, Coronavirus outbreak, pandemic
A dead sperm whale's carcass washed ashore. Representative image: iStock

A recent thread shared by the Council of Doncaster a town in Yorkshire, United Kingdom took the internet by storm while suggesting three measures of dealing with the coronavirus crisis, drawing its relevance to the 1970 incident of exploding a whale in Florence in Oregon, USA.

The Twitter thread comes in the backdrop of the highly contagious COVID-19 gripping the entire globe and bringing the world to a standstill.

The Doncaster Council recounted the incident from November 1970, when a dead sperm whale was found on the shore in Florence and the city officials decided to remove the carcass by exploding it with a dynamite, giving birth to a bad attempt turned into a disaster and being similar to the coronavirus pandemic almost half a century later.

The thread, which has acquired 80,000 likes and more than 45,000 retweets, spoke about the then debate on how to best get rid of the whale’s body.


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With only three options of leaving it to decompose, bury it or use a dynamite to blow it up, the city officials chose the third option. However, the trick backfired with the chief engineer using only half a tonne of dynamite to explode the carcass in front of a large gathering, going against the expert advice of the quantity of dynamite being too large.

“Very quickly, the short-sightedness of the plan became evident. The huge amount of dynamite sent massive chunks of blubber flying through the chilly air, and it rained down around the terrified onlookers,” the Doncaster Council tweeted, adding that, the not-so-thought through plan impacted in a car getting crushed under the fat of the sea mammal, and “to cap everything off, the main bit of the whale stayed exactly where it had been.”

Ahead of speaking about the whale tale and explaining the three key takeaways from the incident and its relation with the current coronavirus situation, the council questioned, “So why do we tell you this story?” 

They went on to explain the three lessons being don’t ignore the advice of the experts, sometimes, it’s better to just sit at home and do nothing than go outside and do something ridiculous, and when you ignore expert advice, you cover everyone else with decaying whale blubber.

The thread gained massive appreciation from tweeples as some even expressed how they were able to relate the incident and its lessons with the current scenario.