The town of Trout River, Newfoundland is trying to figure out how to get rid of a massive blue whale carcass that's washed up on its shores before it explodes.
The small town of Trout River, Newfoundland is faced with a unique and rather unpleasant problem. The body of a blue whale, presumed to be one of several that died in heavy ice off the province's west coast, has washed up on the town's beach. This is problematic for a few reasons.
For one thing, it's reportedly giving off a rather powerful odor, as you might well expect from a dead sea creature 25 meters - more than 80 feet - long. Despite the stench, the carcass is actually drawing in people from the region who want to see a blue whale up close. One bright fellow actually stood on top of the thing to have his photo taken.
"It's very difficult to keep people away, simply because it's not too often that you see a blue whale," Trout River Town Clerk Emily Butler told the CBC.
But the more pressing issue is what happens down the road, as summer arrives and the temperature goes up. Gases inside the carcass are already causing it to bloat, and the townsfolk are concerned that eventually it's going to pop. "The whale is blowing up. It looks as if it's a big balloon, from a distance," Butler said. "There is a possibility as well, with all these gases inside the whale, that it may possibly explode. That's a major concern for us."
And that leads to the real bottom-line problem facing the town: It's on its own. Butler said she's been told that because the whale is now on town property, it's the town's problem. But with a total population in the neighborhood of 688 people, it has neither the resources nor the expertise to deal with it. Butler said she is now in the process of trying to find a government agency that will help dispose of the whale before it paints the town red on hot summer night.