Whale fall

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.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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5 Responses to Whale fall

  1. Ana_ñ says:

    I love it!!!
    Death is life with puppets
    Yes, gorgeous. I love it 🙂

  2. Linda Briganti says:

    Exquisite. I count on you to find these wonderful experiences which seem so little, yet are so big.

  3. JR says:

    One of our cats *really* liked the sound of the boat at the beginning. I stopped and re-started it several times for his enjoyment.

    Reading about the video, I thought it would look something like Eric Power’s paper animation (like the video for “Belly of the Whale”), but it was completely different. I didn’t understand Ana_ñ’s comment about puppets until after I watched it.

  4. xenatuba says:

    I have to say that nature does a much better job than my beloved department did with a whale that beached on the beach just outside of Florence in the 70’s….

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