"Obliterating Animal Carcasses With Explosives": USDA's Step-by-Step Guide

By Sarah Zhang | April 20, 2012 10:01 am

During a snow storm last year, several cows managed to wander into a ranger cabin where they have stayed ever since. Alas, the cows have not been playing house—they died in the cabin, and there they remain, dead and frozen. Rangers at Conundrum Hot Springs are now faced with removing several tons of dead, frozen cow from the remote mountain spot. If not, the slowly decomposing bodies could attract predators and cause contamination.

So here’s the dynamite idea they’ve proposed: blow ‘em up to smithereens and radically speed up the decomposition process. Lucky for the rangers, the USDA happens to have a protocol detailing every step of this process—including diagrams of where to place the explosives.

spacing is important

Because this diagram is optimized for a horse, it includes species-specific pro tips like, “Horseshoes should be removed to minimize dangerous flying debris.” The full protocol also includes a second, more complicated diagram of where to pack explosives on a frozen animal such as these cows. It ends with this note: “Carcasses that have been partially obliterated will generally not show any trace of existence the next day.” Good to know.

[via Improbable Research]

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LCRQONDY3QDYYSB322XIWUEJJ4 HenryD

    And we all know how well the exploding whale in Oregon went!

  • Rich

    No mention of indoor cow exploding options, but perhaps that’s in the ‘full protocol’. Someone should do a Kickstarter-funded film on this.

  • Anonymous

    If corpse dispersion leaves no trace the next day, I wonder if this method could be used by some sick murderer to dispose of a human body somewhere far from civilization – or in a place where the sound of exploding dynamite would not arouse any suspicion. After a few days, would there be anything there that a forensics team might discover? Would a dog be able to sniff out the former presence of a human body? Sorry, I’m just thinking now of horror movies…

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