After my post about hagfish, I ran across this video and was wowed that 1) somebody actually made a video about the decomposition process of a whale, 2) it’s incredibly artistic, and 3) it includes hagfish! Not only that, but you get a closeup of their rasping jaws, and the most creative impression of hagfish slime that I’ve ever seen.
Whale fall is the term for the ecological oasis that a dead whale creates on the deep ocean floor. In these depths, food sources are few and far between, so the appearance of a massive carcass results in a vibrantly diverse, self-contained ecosystem. Sweet Fern Productions tells the story of this ecosystem in a short film using paper cutouts and a lovely musical score by Rachel’s. It’s accurate enough for biologists to appreciate, but the main appeal is that it’s just so gorgeous.
Note: It’s available in high definition, which is how you should watch it.