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Thar she blows! Dead whale explodes

The decomposing remains of a 60-ton sperm whale exploded on a busy Taiwan street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours.
TRUCK CARRIES CORPSE OF A SPERM WHALE IN TAINAN
Blood and guts litter this street in Tainan, Taiwan, after decomposing organs in the sperm whale in background caused it to explode.Taiwan Apple Daily via Reuters
/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Residents of Tainan learned a lesson in whale biology after the decomposing remains of a 60-ton sperm whale exploded on a busy street, showering nearby cars and shops with blood and organs and stopping traffic for hours.

The 56-foot-long whale had been on a truck headed for a necropsy by researchers, when gases from internal decay caused its entrails to explode in the southern city of Tainan.

Residents and shop owners wore masks while trying to clean up the spilt blood and entrails.

"What a stinking mess. This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful," a BBC News report quoted one Tainan resident as saying.

A truck carries the corpse of a 17-meter sperm whale to the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan in southern Taiwan for an autopsy, January 26, 2004. The whale ran aground and died on a beach in the southwestern county of Yunlin on January 17. Due to internal decomposition, the whale's organs burst from its belly on the way to university's laboratory. Picture taken January 26, 2004. HONG KONG OUT TAIWAN OUT NO ARCHIVES REUTERS/Taiwan Apple DailyX80002

The whale had died on Jan. 17 after it beached itself on the southwestern coast of the island.

Researchers at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan said enough of the whale remained to allow for an examination by marine biologists.

Once moved to a nearby nature preserve, the male specimen -- the largest whale ever recorded in Taiwan -- drew the attention of locals because of its large penis, measured at some five feet, the Taipei Times reported.

"More than 100 Tainan city residents, mostly men, have reportedly gone to see the corpse to 'experience' the size of its penis," the newspaper reported.