Why Does a Decomposing Whale Explode?
The small town of Trout River, Newfoundland, has a big problem: a dead blue whale stranded on one of its beaches.
Experts are scrambling to find a way to dispose of the 380,000-pound (170,000-kilogram) corpse before gases generated by its decomposing body cause it to explode.
News of the bulging behemoth has gone viral, with hundreds of news articles and the creation of the hashtag #explodingwhale and the website Has the Whale Exploded Yet?
But no one knows when the whale’s going to blow, if at all. Don Bradshaw, a reporter for Newfoundland station NTV News, has tweeted that the gas inside the whale has begun to naturally deflate.
National Geographic spoke to the exploding-whale website’s founder, Andrew David Thaler, a marine biologist who also runs the blog Southern Fried Science, to learn more about the phenomenon of exploding beached whales.