“It had to be said the Oregon State Highway Department not only had a whale of a problem on its hands,” said news anchor Paul Linnman, reporting on the scene for KATU. “It had a stinking whale of a problem.”
The 45-foot-long, eight-ton sperm whale carcass had washed up on the beach days earlier, and Oregon’s Department of Transportation had been tasked with cleaning up the foul-smelling behemoth. Officials feared people might start climbing it and could even fall into the whale’s carcass.
So, Assistant District Highway Engineer George Thornton made a historic call. His team would treat the whale like a boulder — and blow it up.
Luckily, the event was recorded in a TV segment so bizarre that in recent years it’s been called a hoax. But the people who were there know that the dead whale exploding was all too real — and it sent gigantic chunks of whale flesh hailing down on them and their cars alike.
Believe it or not, this all really happened. Here’s how.
Read more: All That’s Interesting