Whale Fall in the Deep Sea
When a whale dies at sea, its body sinks to the seafloor and becomes what is known as a whale fall. There, it becomes an oasis for all kinds of marine life, providing food for sharks, octopuses, fish, worms, crabs, and more. In October 2019, researchers aboard the E/V Nautilus were exploring Davidson Seamount in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary when they came across a whale skeleton at a depth of 10,623 feet. The whale skeleton was lying on its back and was an estimated 13 to 16 feet long. Muusoctopus octopuses, fishes, and more fed on the carcass. Scientists are working to identify the species of whale.