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When a Whale Falls
When a Whale Falls
When an enormous whale dies, its body sinks to the bottom of the ocean. There it provides food for thousands of deep-sea creatures.
Art by Daniel Powers

A whale fall can dump years’ worth of food, all at once. The smell wafting through the water attracts creatures from miles around.

First, to arrive are the fast-swimming scavengers. Sleeper sharks, ratfish, and snake-like hagfish dine messily, spreading bits around the seafloor.

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October 2019