Even whales eventually become ill and pass away like all other living creatures. But what occurs to these kinds of giants afterwards? Sometimes their remains wash up on the shore, but the more frequent result is a whale fall, in which the whale’s body physically falls to the ocean floor. For deep water scavenger species, whale falls are like a lottery, giving them a crucial and long-lasting source of food for a habitat where food is scarce.
Due to gas accumulation, a dead whale may float for a few days at or near the ocean’s surface, but eventually, the corpse sinks, is pushed by ocean currents and frequently ends up in the deep water. These whale falls are rare but are most often seen along the migratory routes of living whales.
Whales are some of the largest marine mammals, and their bodies contain a lot of fat. So its bodies take a while to disintegrate completely. This process is slowed down by the deep sea’s colder temperatures and higher physical pressure from the water above. Deep water microbes and larger scavengers like crabs, octopuses, eels, and others are fed by the concentrated food source these dead whales offer deep sea ecosystems. Even after the whale has died, its organic parts, such as its decomposing cartilage, might continue to enrich the silt around it for months or even years. Additionally, invertebrate colonies can establish themselves in the whale’s skeleton.