Planet Earth

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

DiscoblogBy Sarah ZhangApr 20, 2012 2:01 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

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.

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

]

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month
Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
1 free articleSubscribe
Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Log In or Register
More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.