- This event has passed.
51st Exploding Whale Memorial Celebration
January 1, 1970 @ 12:00 AM - November 11, 2021 @ 8:00 PM
On November 9th 1970, a 45 foot ~8ton sperm whale washed ashore on the South Jetty in Florence, Oregon.
The beach location was under the jurisdiction of Oregon Department of Transportation, née Oregon Highway Division. Ideas to assist decomposition lead to the idea to blow up the whale. A charge of one-half short ton (lots) of dynamite was selected to break the carcass down and distribute pieces for nature to continue the decomposition process.
Detonation was at 3:45pm on November 12th, 1970. 2021 Celebration is on Saturday the 13th.
The explosion threw whale flesh around 800 feet in a hemisphere of directions.
Needless to say, the idea didn’t really work as desired, BUT most importantly, we celebrate this historical event for many reasons.
Unfortunately, in 1979, 41 sperm whales beached nearby on the same beach, state parks officials burned and buried them.
You may wonder why celebrate something that seems disgusting or not something to celebrate?
Over the past few years, more & more people and businesses have wanted to participate in a celebration. This celebration covers many things:
Cultural event that has lived on for more than 50 years!
Lesson on learning from our mistakes
Celebrate nature, our environment and it’s processes
A debacle that has turned into a local legend AND known world wide
Honoring history, even the absurd
Channels morbid curiosity into a positive channels that support local flavor
Promotes economic prosperity
A community pride event
Helps fund local arts & cultural activities
Learn more about the Exploding Whale at the Siulsaw News location on the Whale Trail.