French explosives experts have been put on high alert as officials consider plans to carry out a controlled detonation of a beached whale.
The 15-ton beast washed ashore near Montpelier earlier in the month and quickly turned into a stinking and potentially dangerous mound of rotting horribleness.
Dead whales are not just a pongy nuisance, but a threat to life and limb due to their known propensity to explode with force.
Methane is produced within an unlucky sea mammal as its carcass decomposes, swelling its stomach and exerting such pressure that the body eventually goes bang (albeit often after a little human interference).
To stop the dead whale blowing any nearby French folk to kingdom come, the authorities are now considering whether to use dynamite to hasten the deep-sea detonator's explosive end.
Anais Cheiron, project manager of the Camargue national nature reserve, said: "Because of the heat, gases form inside the cadaver, hence, the bulging appearance of the whale. It accumulates until it explodes."
A team of cetacean experts are dead set on finding the "practical and less risky” way to remove the whale. Other options on the table include piercing the stomach to remove the gas and then chopping the whale up into tiny pieces.
The following video shows just how awful an exploding whale can be. Marine biologist Bjarni Mikkelsen narrowly avoided the blast after cutting into a sperm whale carcass last year.
Highway engineer George Thomas Thornton also achieved internet fame after blowing up a dead whale in 1970. He had to wait for his moment of digital glory however, because he achieved fame during the early days of the internet, when a website called The Exploding Whale celebrated this rather messy incident.
However, this poor creature was a comparatively tiny 8 tons, just over half the weight of the latest danger whale.
The cynic inside us suggests that perhaps a commercial opportunity has been missed during the latest whale explosion countdown. Whale meat is sold in Japan for about $16.40/kg, meaning that Deadly Willy here could be worth as much as $246,000 (just over £155,000), more than £10k in excess of David Cameron's annual salary. ®