#Town names park after rotting whale officials blew up 50 years ago

#Town names park after rotting whale officials blew up 50 years ago

June 21, 2020 | 12:42pm

This whale memorial is total blast.

A small coastal town in Oregon has named a park after a massive rotting sperm whale that officials were forced to blow up in 1970 — one of the state’s goriest and most peculiar pieces of history, according to a report.

“Exploding Whale Memorial Park” in Florence opened this week in honor of the 8-ton behemoth that was blasted to smithereens after state officials determined there was no safe way to remove it, according to the Siuslaw News.

The giant smelly sea creature — which had washed up onto the banks of the Siuslaw River— was too big to bury and posed a public health risk, according to the Oregon Historical Society.

To prevent people from touching, climbing or “falling in” the carcass, officials used dynamite to blow it up, sending large bits of blubber raining down on passersby, according to the organization.

“The humor of the situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival,” TV reporter Paul Linnman said while covering it at the time, according to the Willamette Week. “Huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere.”

He added, “The remaining chunks were of a size that no respectable seagull would attempt to tackle.”

The whale debris — including one hunk big enough to smash a car — shot up more than 100 feet into the sky, promoting visitors to run for cover, Linnman said at the time.

The city of Florence voted in a public poll last year to name the recreation site Exploding Whale Memorial Park, over names such as “Dune View Park” and “Little Tree Park.” A sign commemorating its new name went up this week in honor of the 50th anniversary of the bizarre incident.

The park features bike racks, picnic tables, kayak access and views of the Siuslaw Dunes.


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