Whale Falls

We’re all familiar with the human-focused benefits of accidental discoveries, such as penicillin and x-rays. Other accidental discoveries give us greater insight into the natural world. One of those discoveries, made in the mid-1980s during a research trip using the submersible Alvin, is a community known as a whale fall. In short, a whale dies, its carcass sinks and a succession of organisms strip the nutrients from the whales soft tissue and bones.

A four-and-half minute puppet-style video explanation of this lengthy process has been created and posted by Sweet Fern Productions. It’s a clever way to explain a fascinating (in my mind anyway) process of nutrient recycling, one that might otherwise gross out some people.

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One response to “Whale Falls

  1. It always seemed wasteful, in 19th century commercial whaling, to take only the oil and baleen and abandon the rest. It is consoling to know that few things are truly wasted in nature. Thanks for the new slant.

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