January 29, 2004
An older bull sperm whale, measuring 56 feet long and weighing 50 tons, died when it became beached on the southwestern coast of Taiwan. On January 29, 2004, a large crowd of more than 600 local residents and curiosity seekers, along with vendors selling snack food and hot drinks, braved the cold temperature and chilly wind to watch workmen try to haul away the dead animal. It took more than 13 hours, three large cranes, and 50 workers to shift the whale on to the back of a truck. The whale was being transported on the back of the truck through the center of Tainan when a build-up of gas inside the decomposing sperm whale caused it to burst. It was a spectacular explosion.