“When a whale dies, the story has just begun”
-- Sweet Fern Productions
For centuries, whales have been revered and feared. They are present in Viking History, Inuit Art, and one of the most famous pieces of modern American literature. They even play a feature role in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, where planet earth and humanity itself are facing destruction as a result of the human induced extinction of whales. These forces of life are at the top of the food chain and play a major role in the overall health of their marine environment. Despite their mythical aura, they continue to suffer at the hands of whalers, industry, and climate change.
This animated video, created by Sweet Fern Productions, portrays the abundant after life of a whale carcass. When a whale dies, it sinks to the bottom of the ocean. The falling carcass, called “whale falls”, supplies bustling deep water communities of organisms with a bounty of nutrients. Its various stages of decomposition not only feed scavengers, but also support whole ecosystems for decades. Whales sustain life even in death.