It happened on November 12, 1970. The carcass of a California grey whale* had been rotting on the beach just south of Florence, Oregon for several days. At the time, the Oregon Highway Division (now called the Oregon Department of Transportation) had jurisdiction over beaches and decided to dispose of the whale the same way they would clear a large boulder from a highway construction project. With dynamite.

There is a video of the incident.

So they moved the spectators back up the beach, put a half-ton of dynamite next to the whale and set it off. The whale carcass disappears in a huge blast of smoke, flame, and blood. Then you hear the happy spectators shouting "Yay!" and "Whee!" Then, suddenly, the crowd's tone changes. You hear a new sound like "splud." You hear a woman's voice shouting "Here come pieces of...MY GOD!" Something smears the camera lens.

The reporter explains "The humor of the entire situation suddenly gave way to a run for survival as huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere."

Large chunks of of whale blubber flew to distances as great as a quarter mile, destroying cars and damaging homes.

A movie (various formats) can be found at: http://www.perp.com/whale/

*Thanks to Jizz for this correction

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