Oregon's Exploding Whale is #5 web video of all time

According to the BBC, a company in the UK has carefully and exhaustively analyzed the most popular internet videos of all time.

There's the light-saber kid, the numa-numa kid, Paris Hilton's cheeseburger ad... but coming in at number five all time, with over 350 million views, is an old newsreel from 1970 featuring then-rookie KATU reporter Paul Linnman in Florence, Oregon: The Exploding Whale.

First, the backstory, from the Dave Barry humor column that brought it back to the attention of the world:

I am absolutely not making this incident up; in fact I have it all on videotape. The tape is from a local TV news show in Oregon, which sent a reporter out to cover the removal of a 45-foot, eight-ton dead whale that washed up on the beach. The responsibility for getting rid of the carcass was placed on the Oregon State Highway Division, apparently on the theory that highways and whales are very similar in the sense of being large objects.

So anyway, the highway engineers hit upon the plan -- remember, I am not making this up -- of blowing up the whale with dynamite. The thinking is that the whale would be blown into small pieces, which would be eaten by seagulls, and that would be that. A textbook whale removal.

So they moved the spectators back up the beach, put a half-ton of dynamite next to the whale and set it off. I am probably not guilty of understatement when I say that what follows, on the videotape, is the most wonderful event in the history of the universe.

And now, roughly two weeks after the 36th anniversary of the event, we share it again with you here on BlueOregon.

Say it loud, say it proud, say it with us: "The blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds."

For more, be sure to check out TheExplodingWhale.com, Paul Linnman's book The Exploding Whale, the Snopes.com Urban Legends discussion ("it's true"), and the Wikipedia entry for "Exploding Whale."

  • (Show?)

    It's also one of the earliest known videos to spread via the Internet.

  • Brandon (unverified)

    sings I'm proud to be an Oregonian!

  • RayCeeYa (unverified)

    I remember this video surfaced again a while back when that freighter the New Carisa grounded off the coast. In traditional Oregonian fashion we tried the same technique again. For some reason the cleanup of both the whale and the ship was left to ODOT. You'd think they would have learned the first time around.

  • TheExplodingWhale.com (unverified)
    <h2>Hi all -- Just wanted to say thanks for the link! Long live the Exploding Whale!</h2>
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