Watch this livefeed NOW! Whalefall: deep sea whale skeleton covered with worms, eels, and octopuses!

The tweet (h/t: Matthew Cobb), who adds about the video:

Amazing. If you rewind 30 mins or so you can watch the moment they find it! It’s 3km down! The poor thing’s body drifted all the way before becoming lunch!

The feed: Click on this now!

11 Comments

  1. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Amazing and eerily beautiful. The running commentary is interesting, too.

  2. phar84
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    “Whalefall” What a beautiful term!

    • phar84
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Casual mention of a vestigial limb WOW

  3. Jim Swetnam
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I have passed it on widely.

  4. Posted October 16, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating!

  5. Posted October 16, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Great find! So this is the treasure that lies in Davy Jones’ locker!

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    The live feed has moved away from the whale, at least as I write this. For any who missed the live feed of the whale carcass, here’s a 5 minute video taken from the live feed https://slate.com/technology/2019/10/decomposing-whale-carcass-nautilus-video.html

  7. rickflick
    Posted October 16, 2019 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    It fantazmagorical! I’m a bit surprised that the critters seem oblivious to the bright lights. I assume that normally they just bump around in total darkness, following smells and tastes. It’s nice to think that nothing is wasted. The whale will feed a whole zoo of animals. I’m guessing the first attack would have been by deep sea sharks.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      I, too, as those above,am taken by the term whalefall, though I see it divided into two words, I like it as one word. I looked it up to find the accepted rendering — one word or two, and was astounded anew to read about whalefalls. I thought the definition would be simple and straightforward: a dead whale dropping to the bottom of the sea, which of course, it is; but a whalefall takes years, decades sometimes, and involves various stages and different kinds of animals at different depths feeding on the carcass as it slowly drifts down to the bottom, which as we see is by no means the end of the process.

      Sharks, yes, in the first attack, but other fish as well, then different creatures in each descending post-mortem environment. I would never have imagined any of this — all of this contained in one beautiful word describing the katabasis of a dead whale.

      • rickflick
        Posted October 16, 2019 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Hmmmm…
        Interesting. I guess we all go through a kind of whalefall eventually. Kind of a thrill. 😎

  8. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    At 3km water depth, the seawater temperature is likely to be below 5C. Something worth remembering when watching these deep sea critters. They’re economical with the ergs – they’ve got to be.


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