What Happens When You Slice Open A Beached Whale…Look Here And See
Have you ever wondered what happens when you cut into the carcass of a beached whale…well, if you have a strong stomach then scroll down to the video and see what happens for yourself. A camera captured the moment a sperm whale carcass, which washed up in the Faroe Islands, exploded. The clip, which was shown of Faroese Television, has since gone viral, racking up millions of hits on YouTube alone (over 16.4 million).
The dead whale had been lying on the beach for two days, after getting stuck in the waters between two islands, when marine biologist Bjarni Mikkelsen was sent to cut it open. As he made incisions in the whale’s side the carcass exploded due to a buildup of methane gas from the decomposition creating a loud sound and releasing a pungent smell. It is reported that a local museum will collect the skeleton and put it on display.
The Faroe Islands is a self-governing archipelago, part of the Kingdom of Denmark. It comprises 18 rocky, volcanic islands between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean, connected by road tunnels, ferries, causeways and bridges. Hikers and bird-watchers are drawn to the islands’ mountains, valleys and grassy heathland, and steep coastal cliffs that harbor thousands of seabirds.
The sperm whale can be found anywhere in the open ocean. Females and young males live together in groups while mature males live solitary lives outside of the mating season. The females cooperate to protect and nurse their young. Females give birth every four to twenty years, and care for the calves for more than a decade. A mature sperm whale has few natural predators, although calves and weakened adults are sometimes killed by pods of orcas (Killer Whales).
From the early eighteenth century through the late 20th, the species was a prime target of whalers. The head of the whale contains a liquid wax called spermaceti, from which the whale derives its name. Spermaceti was used in lubricants, oil lamps, and candles. Ambergris, a waste product from its digestive system, is still used as a fixative in perfumes. Occasionally the sperm whale’s great size allowed it to defend itself effectively against whalers. The species is now protected by a whaling moratorium, and is currently listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).
H/T – Wikipedia
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