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A Whale Tail Tale
By Jerry Brownstein
A fatefully placed whale sculpture in the Netherlands saved a careening train from certain devastation by catching the lead carriage on the graceful arc of its mammoth tail. This amazing incident happened at a metro station when the train’s brakes failed and it overran the track. It would have crashed ten metres to the ground, but was stopped by one of two whale tail sculptures at the end of the track. The driver of the train was able to escape, and there were no other passengers aboard. The sculpture was created in 2002, and it is made out of strong plastic. Its designer, Maarten Struijs, was surprised that it could hold a moving train, and said that he was impressed by how artistic the train looked on his creation. The final irony is that the artwork’s official name is “Saved by the Whale’s Tail”. It seems that fate has a sense of humour!