Now Playing in Malibu: Return of the Whale | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Now Playing in Malibu: Return of the Whale

The beautiful people of Malibu have a large, smelly and stubborn mess on their hands - a 70-ton blue whale carcass that just refuses to


The beautiful people of Malibu have a large, smelly and stubborn mess on their hands - a 70-ton blue whale carcass that just refuses to go away.
 The defunct marine mammal was first spotted in the Santa Barbara Channel on Sept. 22 and towed to a beach at a naval base, where scientists cut it up to try to discover what had killed it. The remains were then towed out to sea, where scientists assumed they would sink. They didn't. Instead they washed up on a Malibu beach three days later. Los Angeles County lifeguards towed the putrefying mass out to sea again - more than 15 miles this time. But on Thursday morning it was on the beach again. Hoping the fourth time would be a charm, the lifeguards dragged the carcass out to sea yet again. As Upfront writes this, it has not yet reappeared. But don't count it out. Getting rid of a dead whale is no easy chore, as Oregonians can attest. In 1970 the Oregon Department of Transportation tried using dynamite to destroy a whale that washed ashore near Florence, creating a calamity that has earned a place in the chronicle of urban legends. Taking the carcass out to sea and weighting it down to try to sink it may work with smaller whales, but not with the big ones. "It just takes a whole lot of anchors to sink 30 or 40 tons of blubber," said Joseph Geraci, co-author of Marine Mammals Ashore: A Field Guide for Strandings.

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