Better footage of that time Oregon blew up a whale with dynamite

Willamette Week:

On November 12, 1970, the Oregon Department of Transportation blew up a dead whale that had washed up on a Florence beach. In what was called a “controlled explosion,” they used a half-ton of dynamite. It didn’t go well.

Chunks of dead whale blubber ended up all over both bystanders and the beach, flying out as far as a nearby parking lot where the flying flesh severely damaged at least one car. The decision to publicly dynamite an enormous mammal has become one of Oregon’s all-time most bizarre moments.

This is one of those videos that showed me the power of the internet. I still remember seeing this decades ago in a tiny QuickTime window and marveling at the fact that I could watch it on this “internet thing”.

I also marveled at the fact people could be so stupid as to think they could blow up a whale carcass.

Thanks to my friend and lifelong Oregon resident Ian Schray for the link.



  • A quarter ton would have done the trick.

  • James Hughes

    Shawn, you ARE a relic!

    I remember this too, what year did you see it online?

    • LOL My memory isn’t that good but likely in the mid to late 1990s.

    • John Kordyback

      November 9, 1970

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_whale

      And just for the record, the Beachcombers ran from 1972-1990. This means that Relic should remember when the whale blew sky high. 😉

  • The Cappy

    “I also marveled at the fact people could be so stupid as to think they could blow up a whale carcass.” But they could. Didn’t you see? 😉

  • John Kordyback

    Ah yes, good times.

  • Mo

    “As god is my witness, I thought whales could fly.”

    • John Kordyback

      Punchbuggy! I was thinking the same thing.

      • Mo

        Gordon Jump just appeared to me right in the middle of that news footage.

  • Caleb Hightower

    speechless.