A disastrous attempt to move a dead sperm whale from a beach by blowing it up has been used by a council to push the coronavirus stay-at-home message.
Doncaster Council shared the 1970s story from the US as they urged people to follow rules on social distancing.
It said the decision to blow up the whale went "horribly wrong" but could teach people lessons about their response to the virus.
The post was retweeted more than 16,000 times within a couple of hours.
In November 1970, officials in Oregon, USA decided to blow up a rotting whale carcass. The whole thing went horribly wrong.— Doncaster Council (@MyDoncaster) April 6, 2020
Why do we bring this up? Well, this story can teach us 3 things about #coronavirus ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/9MOeRESkzx
Recounting the story in a series of threads, the council described how despite expert advice warning against it, half a ton of dynamite was used to blow up the rotting whale carcass in front of a crowd of spectators.
The result was "massive chunks of blubber" flying through the air raining down on "terrified onlookers".
The council said: "The problem hadn't gone away, only now there were thousands of bits of problem spread for miles around."
It added: "When you ignore expert advice and act like an idiot, you cover everyone else with decaying whale blubber. #StayHome and stop being selfish."
The post has proved popular with many Twitter users, including TV presenter Carol Vorderman who tweeted in response: "Wow... this is brilliant."
Another poster said: "Tweet thread of the decade. Well done."
The viral post comes after the council's social media team issued another stay-at-home threat related to the Russian military hero Stanislav Petrov.
Petrov, the council reminded its followers, averted nuclear disaster in 1983 when his patience revealed a supposed US attack on the Soviet Union to be a false alarm.
The authority said: "His calmness, his level-headedness, and his choice to do NOTHING, literally saved the world from destruction."