The fact of the matter is - when a dead whale is washed upon a shore it’s difficult to dispose of it. It’s just really large. There was a blue whale case which weighed 70 tons. Just leave it there? That would be quite unsanitary and people are rather morbidly curious creatures. I don’t know what aliens would think about humans flocking around dead whales, but such is a human.

So how one would go about disposing of it? One option is to try towing the whale back into the sea, but it’s hard to sink with anchors a fatty whale - as fat floats well, and depending on prevailing winds and currents the whale might finish up just back on shore. Or try burying it on the spot? One still has a dead whale on the beach and people tend not to be excited about dead whale graves on their beach, and it could become uncovered due to natural elements. Or cut it up and incinerate it? That would be quite a big undertaking - the actual physical cutting, and in one instance it took two days of burning with associated smells to get the job done.

Now all these solutions have merits as well as drawbacks - it depends on the situation. However, the true heroes of the story are the Oregon Highway Division of 1970.

In 1970 a whale was washed on a beach in Oregon and as dead whales are evidently a highway problem, Oregon Highway Division was tasked with dealing with the task at hand. They decided against burying due to concerns it would be uncovered, and cutting was dropped for the self-evident reason - nobody wanted to do it. So a threshold was crossed in the mind, like when spork came into being. Oregon Highway Division decided to use explosives - to literally blow up the whale in small enough pieces for scavengers to consume the whale. “I’m confident it will work, the only thing we are not sure just how exactly much explosives it will take to disintegrate this thing” said the highway engineer in charge of the project. The explosion was executed indeed. The result was big whale chunks and whale “snow” raining down on all the spectators from the sky. Dramatic scenes. One car was smashed by a whale chunk.

Whales in our lives get washed up on beaches. Some we have to deal with not by choice, some - by choice. We might choose some because we want to push boundaries, improve the world’s beaches and leave them better for people who will come after us. In either case, it takes creativity, grit, work, chutzpa, and good spirits to deal with the whale. If one is moving forwards it’s inevitable that one will sometimes finish up with whale guts falling around. Such is the way through a whale. But that is good! Lest we forget - the Oregon Highway Division did succeed in disposing of the whale.