November 12th, 2013
Today — November 12, 2013 — marks the 43rd anniversary of Oregon’s Exploding Whale. So, Happy Exploding Whale Day to you!
Of course, we’re all missing George Thornton, the Oregon highway engineer most responsible for the infamous blubber blast. He passed away just over two weeks ago.
Alas, life goes on. And occasionally we even learn something new, such as this gem from The Oregonian which had escaped me until today:
November 12, 1970. A day that will live in infamy. And hilarity. Call it Infalarity. Or Hilaramy. Whatever. But 43 years ago today, on November 12, 1970, at 3:45 p.m., the famous Exploding Whale – yes, THAT exploding whale — was blown up on the Oregon coast, in Florence. Meanwhile, in Portland, some 132 miles away as the exploding whale blubber flies, Tonya Harding was born.
Yes, that Tonya Harding.
Even if you don’t care about Tonya, you need to click through so you can read the first-ever set of “Tonya-and-the-Exploding-Whale” limericks!
October 31st, 2013
George Thornton, the highway engineer who supervised the detonation of 20 cases of dynamite in an attempt to dispose of a dead sperm whale on the Oregon Coast, died on Sunday, October 27, 2013, in Medford, Oregon. He was 84 years old.
Thornton worked for the Oregon Highway Division (later renamed the Oregon Department of Transportation) from 1947 to 1984. He retired several years before the Exploding Whale story became an internet sensation thanks to an article written by Dave Barry.
Many years later, Paul Linnman, the KATU TV news reporter who covered the Exploding Whale story, reached out to Thornton while writing his book on the subject (“The Exploding Whale and Other Remarkable Stories from the Evening News“). Thornton declined to be interviewed, saying only, “No, it seems like whenever I talk to the media, it blows up in my face.”
We’ve archived several related articles:
March 10th, 2013
Here it is folks — a brand new tribute song for the Exploding Whale!
Click the play button on the embedded SoundCloud player below and then read on to learn about the artist and his inspiration….
Johnny Stuka’s SoundCloud profile reads as follows:
Johnny Stuka is the pilot of a stolen Stuka Dive Bomber that crashed into the English Channel in 1999. Fortunately his life raft inflated. Unfortunately, his whistle sunk to the bottom. Since then he has bobbed on the currents, occassionally sighting the white cliffs but always whilst being driven back out to sea by weather. More recently he has sighted France but is unsure how close he should go.
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November 12th, 2012
Just a quick note to wish you all a…
Happy 42nd Exploding Whale Day!
April 15th, 2012
The body of a dead and rotting Bryde’s whale, inflated from the gases of its decomposition, was mistaken for a capsized ship as it drifted toward the South African coast.
March 22nd, 2012
Welcome to the second installment of Whales in the News:
March 15th, 2012
Welcome to the first edition of Whales in the News here on TheExplodingWhale.com! In this series of posts, we’ll be aggregating recent whale-related news and articles for your entertainment and education. And so without further ado, here are some of the top whale stories from the past week:
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