The Newfoundland community of Trout River in Canada has a whale-sized (and potentially explosive) problem on its hands.
The recently washed-up remains of a blue whale are steadily decomposing on a local beach – and as the 25-metre (81ft) carcass fills up with methane from the decomposition process, there are growing fears that it might explode. (In the meantime, there are also impending problems of the odorous kind.)
The BBC reports that the dead whale was probably one of several that died weeks ago in heavy ice off Newfoundland's coast.
Disposing of the whale is proving tricky as local and federal authorities can't agree on who's responsible for the cleanup, according to the BBC. Whatever happens, we're going to advise against this strategy:
LATEST UPDATE: The whale hasn’t exploded yet, but at this stage in the game, it probably won’t, says deep-sea ecologist Andrew David Thaler.
“The first day when it was really starting to bloat, there was a chance. But as the days go on, it’s going to be decomposing more. It’s going to be less of a nice, solid balloon and more of a falling-apart carcass. There will be more and more voids for gas to escape out of. So I think it’ll probably deflate in the next few days,” he told Fusion.net.
Top header image: Michael Bamford, Flickr