Swedish islanders warned to ‘stay away from explosive whale’

A small town on the Swedish island of Öland has issued a stark warning to locals and visitors not to come too close to a nearby beached humpback whale for fear it might explode.

Swedish islanders warned to 'stay away from explosive whale'
Locals have been wading out to inspect the cadaver close up. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

On Wednesday morning, the municipality of Mörbylånga issued a public notice stating that it was “dangerous”, and that it was issuing a “strong warning not to under any circumstances approach the whale cadaver”.

“People are so interested that they are putting on waders and stomping around near the whale,” Staffan Åsén, the town’s environment chief, told Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT.

He said that when local and national authorities are working with the whale, they wear helmets and other safety equipment.

“The whale is now filling up with gas as a result of putrefaction and could explode,” he said. “These are powerful forces you should not treat lightly.”

The humpback whale caused a sensation after it was found dead and stranded just 40 metres from the shore on the beach outside the town on April 20th.

Poet and photographer Anders Johansson, who found the whale, told SVT that he suspected it was the same whale that had been spotted off the coast of Gotland earlier in the month.

Member comments

  1. I was there last weekend. There was tons of people visiting the site watching the dead whale from shore.

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