The 25 meter-long (or 81 feet) North Atlantic blue whale washed up Trout River's rocky beach is believed to be among the nine dead whales reported to have been trapped and crushed by floating colossal ice few weeks ago. Two other whale bodies drifted to nearby towns of Baker's Brook and Rocky Harbor.
Blue whales are normally large, about the size of a bus. The 60-ton carcass stuck by the Trout River shore, however, as observed by the locals, is fearfully growing.
"The whale is blowing up. It looks as if it's a big balloon, from a distance," Emily Butler, Trout River town manager said in an interview. "There is a possibility as well, with all these gases inside the whale, that it may possibly explode...That's a major concern for us."
The incident is reminiscent to a whale explosion in November last year, when a bloated sperm whale 15 meters long drifted ashore in the Faroe Islands, exploded while being dissected by a marine biologist sent by the National Museum of Faroe Islands to investigate.
As Bjarni Mikkelsen made small cuts through the belly using a flensing knife, the carcass, without warning, blasted away the whale's insides, disgorging some to the surprised biologist.
Scientists explained that such explosion could happen if a gas pocket inside the whale's blubber reached its limit and further decomposition add up to it, converting a whale carcass into a ticking time bomb of utterly foul stench and rotten animal organs.
Trout River is home to around 600 locals, and it is a popular tourist spot in Newfoundland for whale watching. The carcass is just a feet away from the main waterfront boardwalk and may endanger curious tourists who have gathered near the swelling animal.
The residents have yet to talk about who will be in charge of the disposal. They could just not just let it rot. Should they settle on dumping the body back into the sea, it could pose dangers to the passing ships.
"We don't know what to do," Butler said. "The whale is there on our beach. It has been there since Friday. We are heading into tourist season. I've contacted the Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Environment Canada - and all these departments keep saying that the whale is on municipal property, and so it is the responsibility of the town."