Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Memories of Whales

I found a humorous video on a blog friend's site today at Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted). The video brought back memories of my childhood. The video is of a whale that washed up near Florence on the Oregon coast back in 1970 and how it was dealt with. The memory returns as I was actually there. I grew up a few miles away.  I was 4.5 years old at the time and our family went out to the beach to see the dead whale! This was big excitement for the small sleepy town where I grew up. I remember being there when a man with a knife carved the hole in the side of the whale. The hole is visible in the video.

My brother and I wanted to go to watch when they ultimately "dealt" with the whale, but our parents said no. In hindsight they were wise in this regard.  Watch the video to find out why.

When I was in high school, 21 whales washed up on the shore in the same place. Learning from earlier mistakes, they decided to burn these. It took a week! What a pleasant place our town was during this time, which just happened to coincide with tourist season. We left on a vacation to avoid the smell.

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1 comment:

Kevin Zelnio said...

WOW! That is... I guess I'm speechless. Blowing up a dead stranded whale was not the first thing that came to my mind lol

I found your blog from Ed Yong's comment thread. Looks real interesting and good luck with your school! My co-blogger at The Other 95% is also a recovering computer scientist, now pursuing a degree in marine biology.