50 years ago this week, local officials of a small seaside town in Oregon decided to dispose of a long dead beached whale by detonating a charge inside it, hoping to obliterate the bulk of the problem and let seagulls and crabs deal with the rest.
They estimated a half a ton of dynamite would do the trick.
As it turns out, that was overkill. Mammalian marine guts spewed everywhere, raining down on townsfolk. A quarter-mile away, cars were smashed with chunks of cetacean carcass. This story remained a local legend for two decades, until the early ’90s , when the newspaper columnist Dave Barry mentioned seeing footage of the exploding beast. Soon after, this video clip — originally reported by Portland news channel KATU — went viral on the internet, long before “going viral on the internet” was even a thing.