Whale carcass on UK beach is explosion risk

The carcass of a dead minke whale that washed up on the west coast of England is at risk of exploding as gases released by the rotting flesh collect inside the whale. Minke whales are common in the waters around the UK, but carcasses rarely wash up in this area. As a result, the dead leviathan has attracted numerous onlookers.

Scientists have been taking samples from the carcass and are set to release the build up of gas from the creature’s body to prevent it from exploding.

Whale carcass washes up on beach

Scientists from Liverpool University have been studying a whale which was washed up on the Merseyside coast.

The nearly fully grown male minke whale was already dead when it was beached near Formby over the weekend.

No one is sure how the creature died but the decaying carcass has become a macabre tourist attraction with hordes of people visiting the beach to see it.

The council is expected to remove the body over the next couple of days and are urging people to stay away.

Minke whales, which can live for up to 50 years, are quite common in the waters around the UK but are not often found washed up on the Merseyside coastline.

Gordon White from Sefton Council said: “There have been three beachings on our coastline in the last 15 to 20 years as far as I am aware.”

Scientists have been taking samples from the carcass and are set to release the build up of gas from the creature’s body to prevent it from exploding.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/7594936.stm

Published: 2008/09/02 20:23:53 GMT

© BBC MMVIII

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