Jun 3, 2004

I was err... fortunate, to catch up with Steve and Kat that afternoon at the beached whales (isn't that a Larsen cartoon). Its how the whole PhD thing started. I had just gone down there for a look as I'd never seen a Sperm whale in the (decomposing) flesh before. Actually I was out there to have a surf at Piha, which is just over the hill from the stranding. (Offshore 3-4' for those that might care)

After a lifetime of dealing with decaying shells I now have a new scale for 'How bad things can smell'.

Imagine you take two Ford Mondeo estates or a couple of mini-vans and put them end to end. That's about the size of these whales. Also add to that they are sitting on black sand, are there in early summer, in NZ, and have been there for 4 days. Oh, and the weather had been really nice too. Think of something that smells bad, then think again. Then think that smells are particulate. Then keep it down.

Like Spartacus said, it's not everyday you get to stick your head in a decomposing whale.

Actually from memory, they only had that day to... (Is dissect the right word for something that big?) the 12 whales, as the council was burying the bodies that day. Now that must have been a fun job.

On the todger business, I think all the whales were male.

Still, they could have blown them up, surely everyone has seen that video.