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Beached whales sometimes spontaneously explode due to build up of gases, mostly methane, as the carcass decomposes. Occasionally, whale carcasses are also exploded using actual explosives, after they have been towed out to the sea, to dispose them quickly. Explosives have also been used to euthanize beached whales.

The most famous case of a whale exploding happened in the city of Florence, Oregon, in November 1970, when a dead sperm whale was blown up using dynamite resulting in unintended consequences.

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A beached whale. Photo credit: Isabelle OHara/Shutterstock.com

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