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.