The Video

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About this page…
The original footage of the exploding whale first appeared on KATU Channel 2 Portland, OR in November 1970. The story was reported by Paul Linnman, and the cameraman was Doug Brazil.

Since then, the story has been retold countless times, and numerous versions of the original news story have appeared on the internet as a result. Several of them are viewable in the YouTube player on this page. For even more exploding whale-related videos, please visit TheExplodingWhale.com’s video portal on YouTube.

Press one of the “Play” buttons to start the first video. Or, press the “Video Selector” button to choose a specific version of the video.

The YouTube player above will take you through the following versions of the video in order:

  1. 1970 KATU (original report)
  2. 2002 KATU (abridged update)
  3. 2004(?) TechTV (highly abridged)
  4. 2008 CNN’s News To Me
  5. … and more!

All of these videos, plus additional exploding whale-related videos, are available at TheExplodingWhale.com video portal on [YouTube].

After watching the video, leave us a comment below or on the site feedback page!


Please note…

  • If all else fails, you can read the annotated transcript of the original newsreel.
  • For a superior, trouble-free web browsing experience on Windows, use Firefox!
  • Physical copies of the video (e.g., on VHS or DVD) are not available under any circumstances. Don’t bother asking.

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78 Responses to “The Video”

    Responses appear in reverse chronological order.
  1. john Says:

    oh the Humanity

  2. Tom Hartford Says:

    Would the people who whine that they shouldn’t do this realize it is only done in the event the whale is dead or terminally ill. The 1970 whale explosion was done to a dead whale. What should they have done? Buried it in a pet cemetery? No, you blow it up so it doesn’t just rot on the beach and other wildlife can consume it. Some people.

  3. Happy Hippo Says:

    This has become my all-time favourite YouTube video!

  4. bret Says:

    So who paid for the Cadillac? If the state paid for it that made for a pretty expensive adventure.

    If they had only practiced on an old cow carcass first they would have known their plan was flawed.

    So Happy Exploding Whale day to all!

  5. Love it Says:

    Laughed outloud…

    Make it a national holiday!

  6. JDHondo Says:

    Dear “funny videos Says” – in case you don’t know this already, the whale was already dead. It washed up on shore dead; probably died of natural causes. While the way they handled it turned out to be pretty gross, they were trying to figure out how to dispose of a 16,000 pound rotting carcass.

  7. Mark Says:

    Actually, “Nuke gay whales” was the phrase designed to offend 3 groups of people simultaneously… ;-)

  8. Jim Says:

    This reminds me of the bump stickers appearing in the early 80′s that read “nuke the whales”. Now we know for real that would not be such a hot idea.

  9. jessie Says:

    that was hilarious, of course glad noone was seriously injured , but just couldn’t keep from laughing. it’s like well we decided to blow the thing up. hmm really well your the boss lets get to it.

  10. Saga Says:

    Hoho. Don’t blow up a stinky whale :-)

  11. schm0e Says:

    what happened to that cool little exploding-whale graphic?

  12. Bree Says:

    Does this still happen?

  13. Lorri Says:

    This is absolutely hilarious!! Live and learn, I guess huh?? hahaha

  14. The Crimson Crown Says:

    Love the video haha!

  15. Cristobal Gaut Says:

    I love one pages sites…. it’s just more convenient

  16. Telugu Kathalu Says:

    Funny videos , nice

  17. funny videos Says:

    I think the idea to blow the whale is quite annoying. How can you just blow a living creature so painlessly. It is funny at the same time very annoying also.

  18. Seminyak Says:

    I agree with Paintless.. The things we humans used to do!

  19. Jeff Patterson Says:

    We sure have come along way since the 1970′s and how we dispose of things, now they just take a crane and take it and bury it in the nearest land fill.

  20. Smiley Face Now Says:

    The absolute stupidity of the decision to blow this thing up sadly puts a smile on my face and annoys me to no end, both at the same time.

  21. Will Says:

    @Rattie- Um Yea “darvin” awards……..

    In hindsight they should have used a nuke…… *nod nod*

  22. Rattie Says:

    darvin awards!

  23. Amy Says:

    Is doug brazil still alive?

    Editor: I believe so. At least he was in November 2010 for this interview.

  24. Nerja Says:

    This certainly explains what happened in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where the probability drive caused a whale to appear mid-air, before plunging to the ground and exploding. And I am not making that up. :0)

  25. Paintless Says:

    move a whale is difficult, but I wonder … that’s the only thing they can do to move out of the way?
    truth this video is not very nice to see.

  26. john Says:

    this is the funniest shit i ever seen…lol

  27. Best Home Business Secrets Says:

    That’s a big blast. That poor whale just blown up to pieces. Extremely disgusting and gross.

  28. rocky Says:

    Reminds me of the other day when it rained cheesesteaks and pretzels here in South Philly.

  29. Chris Says:

    I would have loved to see the blubber hit someone in the face. Ha Ha this was great. This is how we should operate in today’s society. We should blow up prisons and do some pest control.

    Thank you for this.

  30. Doug Says:

    To Don,
    Although not explained in detail in the original story, the “morons’ was the Oregon State Highway Division who were advised that anything dead and of this size would eventually end up back on the beach as it was too big and dead for most scavengers to be interested.
    There was a more massive whale beaching years later and the Division chose to bury and burn them.
    Towing out to sea even at that point was still considered, well, moronic.

  31. Don Says:

    Well, that was interesting. What I found even more interesting & humorous is that they blew it up in the first place, rather than using a tugboat & a cable to tow the carcass out to deep sea where other critters would eat it for dinner. Eh, hello? What a bunch of pot headed or air headed morons. LOL, so they still had to bury a couple of large pieces, they now had smaller pieces all over the place & the poor citizens car got smashed. There were so many idiots back in the ’70′s. I wonder if they would do that today. Hmmm….considering some of the really stupid things I’ve seen people do in other areas of endeavor, it wouldn’t surprise me. Oh well, Jamie, I agree that whales are beautiful & amazing creatures alive, but, I agree w/ KC that when they are a dead carcass, then they are fertilizer, food or trash that rots away like everyone else. I think most people would agree & keep in perspective. I have seen people on the beach & ships stop everything & just gather in absolute awe when they see a whale(s) break the surface for a while. People are just ecstatic & the overwhelming majority love animals. It’s the very few who mistreat animals & even the many fishermen/hunters I’ve met are interested in making the capture or death as quick as possible & then eating the critter. There needs to be balance in all things, including consumption of wildlife, otherwise the animals overpopulate & cause their own problems.

  32. Gaylord Focher Says:

    I found a whale lying next to me in my bed this morning. Imagine my surprise when I remembered that it was my wife! I told her about this and she literally exploded!

  33. bob Says:

    Hey Travis since that’s a good idea you got about taking it to Hollywood but why waste a good dead whale when you would have more tonnage with Rosie O’Donnell or Mike Moore

  34. KC Says:

    To Jamie: It’s a DEAD animal. For the love of god, grow a sense of humor please.

  35. Travis Bickle Says:

    Hands down the funniest thing ever commited to film!

    Hollywood needs to add more exploding whales to its films,that would surely pack the theatres.

    Hey…maybe some smart producer will make a feature film based on this event!

    Clint Eastwood could star as the head of the dept. of transportation who secretly has an intense hatred of whales
    after having to do a book report on Moby Dick scarred him for life.

    Many thanks to the folks here at Exploding Whale . com for allowing this video to bring a smile to the face of a whole new generation who werent lucky enought to witness the sheer majesty of a rotting whale being propelled into the stratosphere by good ‘ol dynamite!

  36. Travis Bickle Says:

    This is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!
    I cant believe all the pansys out there whining about this “beautiful animal” being blown to hell.

    Whats beautiful about a *rotting sperm whale*??

    I am truly saddened by the fact that this will probably never happen again,this is one of lifes funniest and most enjoyable moments in history!

    I would have it mandatory that all beached whales must be blown up,and that the public can freely come and enjoy the spectacle.
    Just imagine the wonderfull memories you’d have reliving this beautiful scene with your children time and time again!

    What better way to spend the weekend that parked in the sand with an umbrella and box of popcorn waiting gleefull for the countdown that will disintegrate such a large eyesore for good!

  37. jamie Says:

    I was disgusted by this video. How is it funny or humorous to watch a beautiful animal blown to pieces. I could not believe the way people were responding to this video.

  38. kenny Says:

    I read the original story of this event back in the early seventies. I could swear it first appeared in Sports Illustrated. People tend to ridcule here in the comments but at the time blowing it up seemed like the best idea becase it was putrifying on the beach. I think some details are missing here from the original. So maybe this website doesn’t do it justice. It must have been a heck of a scene that morning with rancid, putrified atomized blubber being blown like a misty seabreeze!

  39. typical Says:

    Reminds me of all the idiot officials currently in charge of fixing the salmon problem on the Columbia river. The government always fumbles when it comes to what they don’t understand: wildlife. “Hey our fishing industry has put salmon on the threatened species list.. lets kill 85 sea lions and hope that works to restore the salmon to the millions-thick population we once enjoyed on the river!!” Idiots. Morons. Designers of ecological devestation!

  40. meez Says:

    Oh my gosh…after reading all those comments, I KNOW I’m not weird for laughing about this so much. Thanks for the site!

  41. Fred Says:

    Absolutely NOTHING beats Stacey Keach’s narration of the event when he did World’s Most Amazing Video’s #6 in 1999 and this was the Main Event Finale of the show!!!

  42. Yox Says:

    My colleague and friend Dr. Heinrik von Steel, Attorney at Law, shares a deep-seated fascination with post-mortem whale explosion with me. If only I could witness this phenomenon first hand. My life would be complete.

    With the utmost sincerity,
    Dr. Yox Tyrannosaur, Attorney at Law

  43. Heinrik Says:

    I first heard about this explosive phenomenon on the Dick Daveson Show, which premiered on HGTV on the first of December. Stunned by the natural magnificence of whale explosion, I decided to investigate the matter further. This brought me to your terrific website. As long as I live, I will always cherish post-mortem whale explosion.

    Truly,
    Dr. Heinrik von Steel, Attorney at Law

  44. Karen in Canada Says:

    I first heard of this incident through several mentions in columns by humorist Dave Barry. It occurred to me today: ‘Something this stupid has got to be on video on the Internet. In fact it’s so stupid, there’s got to be a whole website about it.” Sure enough. Thanks for perpetuating the poignant plot for posterity and blatantly blogging the blubbery blast.

  45. poopypants Says:

    We don’t need no Stink’in whales!

  46. suzan Says:

    LOL this is GREAT!!! I loved the commentator….

  47. Synapse Says:

    Whales! Some people love them, others hate them. Whatever your stance, we at Kill The Whales are eager to hear your views on how to deal with the Cetacean problem plaguing our oceans. Please check us out at
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=321009020446

  48. person Says:

    my whales just fine

  49. Ed Says:

    I like how the whole community got together to solve this problem.

  50. traci Says:

    Ha! This whale event was in my hometown!

  51. Amanda Says:

    It’s so funny to me that ODOT was in charge of this whole operation. I can’t believe they didn’t use their heads on this one. But, I suppose if it didn’t happen, we wouldn’t have something to laugh at all these years later. ROFL!

  52. GabachoMike Says:

    When i go, i want to be ‘disseminated’ like that too!
    But send my body to Osama first. Tell him “look, another infidel you defied.”, then ‘boom’!

  53. JKL Says:

    This is the most beautiful hymn to human stupidity in the whole world. Melts my heart to see how brilliantly stupid one can be. I am shedding tears of joy.

  54. Brendan Says:

    Why was the highway department taking care of a beached whale…?
    Yay for the laws of physics at work!!!

  55. Jaime Says:

    I was recovering of a maxilar operation with more than 20 stitches in my mouth, watching tv with my wife and suddenly the dummiest videos showed and the exploding whale came to my eyes and I laughed so much that some stiches broke, we could not even change the channel because we were laughing so much that we could not even breathe and our stomach hurt and they repeat the video and had to visit the dentist again.

  56. Michael Amesse Says:

    Smart… S.M.R.T

  57. Donnie Says:

    This is the funniest video I have ever seen. If you ever have seen the movie “Reno 911: Miami” there is a part of the movie that is based on this situation lol.

  58. Ricar1030 Says:

    How do you explain this to your car insurance? “no sir I was not driving drunk, a piece of exploding whale made that dent”.

  59. Lobotomy Girl Says:

    I’m going to the beach for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I always watch this video before I go. Oh Oregon coast, what rotting carcasses won’t wash up on you?

  60. Ron Says:

    Ah, the conservationists of OR. Even Mom & GayLynne will smile about this one.

  61. Christy Says:

    This is absolutely the strangest video I’ve ever watched. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would’ve been like to be covered in whale bits. I imagine that smell took some serious bathing to remove. Whose brainiac idea was this anyway? Hilarious!

  62. barb Says:

    I heard about the incident just before I moved to Oregon in the wow farout groovy early 70′s. It was just meant to be. The whale was very, very dead when it beached….that was the problem…you could smell it for miles around. The video still makes me smile – everytime.

  63. vee Says:

    And they’re going to get rid of that satellite by blowing it up. Hummmmm

  64. RACHEL Says:

    that was TOTALLY AWSOME !!!

  65. Steve G. Says:

    I just love this story. First came to light in a Libertarian newsletter that I found circulating 20 years ago. Then someone sent me a copy of a local newscast going over the anniversary of the event. It was absolutely hilarious. The news anchors were laughing so hard after the report aired they could hardly speak. If I ever find that version of the story I’ll send it to you as it really is the best of all of the exploding whale videos I’ve ever seen.

  66. Ron Says:

    COOOOOOoOOOOOOOOoOOOOOOoOOOOL!!!

  67. Alex Says:

    Our biology lecturer showed us this video, I can’t quite remember why right now…?!

    “Of course, being American, they decided to blow it up!”

    I just think “Cooooool”.

  68. Naanomi Says:

    This seems silly, but I am sure it is not the worst thing the Oregon Dept. of Transportation has done… all you Oregonians out there know it

  69. Robin Says:

    My daughter took me to Florence a while back…..found this story and just watched the news cast……..what a story……..why did the whale beach itself???? Would it have been handled differently now??? Lots of unanswered questions???? Things that make you go hmmmmmmm

  70. Slappy Says:

    Happy exploding whale day! (which would make a good name for a rock band) In honor of this historic event, invite some friends over. Light the grill and blow up some hot dogs, or go out and eat sushi ’till ya puke. This year, I’ll be ceremonially destroying a ’68 Mercury sedan.

  71. jason stewart Says:

    the exploding whale is perhaps the single most incredible thing i’ve ever seen. my only regret is that i hadn’t been there. or born yet. exploding whale rules!!!

  72. TOONGA Says:

    its raining whale halaluah its raining whale halaluah its raining whale halaluah its raining whale halaluah its raining whale halaluah its raining whale

  73. littlebird Says:

    I tried all the troubleshooting links and all the alternative download sites and I was unable to view the video. I fine the article and ignorance facinating and was interested in seeing the actual footage. I’m almost embarrased to say I’m an Oregonian Webfoot – born and bred!

  74. 8 Little Known Facts About Me…. « Sassafras Junction Says:

    [...] 3)  I have not, and never will (God willing and the creek don’t rise), ever read Moby Dick.  F__k you, whale.  I don’t give a tinker’s damn what happens to your sorry ass. [...]

  75. Dive Inspirations Scuba News » Blog Archive » Ahh, the old whale carcass dilemma Says:

    [...] What to do when a dead whale washes up on your shore? Well, you could blow it up. But we all remember how that ended up, don’t we? In case you have forgotten Click Here to go to a page that has the video from 1970. Okay, so blowing it up doesn’t work, so now what? How about sinking it with 3 tons of train wheels attached to it? Yeah, that’s the ticket Confronted with a rotting whale carcass on the beach in 1970, officials in Florence, Ore., hauled in 20 cases of dynamite and lit the fuse. [...]

  76. James’s Blog » Exploding whales Says:

    [...] While sifting through some old emails, Wolf reminded me of the story of the whale that exploded in the street of Tainan, Taiwan. Which inevitably brings up that old story about the whale that they dynamited, somewhat unsuccessfully, 35 years ago in Florence, Oregon. There is now a website dedicated to exploding whales, and other exploding things. [...]

  77. Der Eckpfeiler » Blog Archive » Der explodierende Wal Says:

    [...] Das Resultat, nämlich einige Tonnen fliegenden Walglibbers, ist in diesem Video festgehalten. Auch recht amüsant zu lesen ist die dazugehörige Homepage, auf der man viele weiterführende Links zu dieser wahren Geschichte finden kann. [...]

  78. Drex Davis » Dynamiting a Dead Beached Whale Says:

    [...] In case you’ve ever wondered what it would look like . . . Yes, a municipality tried it. And, of course, the local news videotaped it. [...]