A whale intended for research exploded on a Taiwanese street, soaking passersby in blood and guts.


The sperm whale, which had died on the beach and was being transported back in 2004 through Tainan for study, burst because of gases building up in its body from decomposition. It soaked several cars and curious pedestrians nearby, forcing residents and business owners to wear masks to clean up the debris.


“What a stinking mess. This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful,” commented one resident.

The whale weighed 50 tons and was 55 feet long, making it the largest ever found in Taiwan. It was taken to a Tainan university, which sent it on to the Shi-Tsao natural preserve for study. The whale’s girth took 13 hours, three large lifting cranes and 50 workers to get the creature on trailer truck for its final trip.

Despite the mammal’s grisly explosion, enough of the whale remained for it to be researched by marine biologists.


Rachel is a writer and tutor living in Virginia. She loves learning about other cultures and thinks we’re all a little wacky.