Fifty-tonne whale explodes showering pedestrians and traffic in blood and organs

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Unsuspecting pedestrians and drivers were subjected to a disgusting sperm whale explosion 18 years ago today and were grossly showered in a mix of blood, organs and flesh.

The massive dead sperm whale was being towed through the busy streets of Tainan, southwestern Taiwan, when it exploded, dousing the city in a bloody concoction of innards that looked like a scene from a horror movie.

Just before the messy explosion on January 26 2004, the 50-tonne whale was being transported on the back of a large lorry to a research centre.

People, cars and buildings were painted in body parts in a blink of an eye.

Surprisingly, such an explosion is a fairly common phenomenon in whales, caused by a the pressure of gasses that build up inside the mammal as it begins to decompose.

The dead sperm whale had been collected from a Taiwanese beach and was being taken to be used for educational and research purposes, the Express reported.

Footage from the horrific scene shows local residents sporting masks as they clean up the mammoth amount of mess – and some can be seen finding time for a quick photo op.

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Witnesses at the time described the "blood and other stuff" as smelling "really awful".

Luckily, despite the explosion, the whale was still together enough for marine biologists to continue their planned research.

Professor Wang Chien-ping, of the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, said the whale weighed a whopping 50 tonnes and was 17 metres in length.

It is the largest whale ever recorded in Taiwan.

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Professor Wang explained: ”Because of the natural decomposing process, a lot of gases accumulated, and when the pressure build-up was too great, the whale's belly exploded."

Getting the whale onto the trailer reportedly took 13 hours, with assistance from three large cranes and 50 workers.

  • Animals

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