"A whale falls, everything is born", why do you say that a whale fall is the most romantic death?

2021-01-08 | Zhong Ming talks about science Original |

Whale falling

Whale landing refers to the process of whale landing to the bottom of the sea after its death. When it comes to whale landing, the first thing we think of is "a whale falls and all things live". This is because after the whale dies, it slowly sinks from the sea to the bottom of the seaIn the process, it can nourish many organisms, especially marine benthic organisms.

The ocean is divided into shallow sea and deep sea. The ocean with a depth of more than 200 meters is called deep sea. Because the sun's rays cannot penetrate the water depth of 200 meters, it is dark all year round, the water temperature is low, and the water pressure is also very low..

On the earth, most of the energy comes from sunlight. Plants use photosynthesis to convert solar energy into starch and sugars and store them in the body. Animals either directly or indirectly feed on plants to obtain energy. InThe same is true in marine life, marine phytoplankton can produce energy through photosynthesis for marine animals to survive.

However, in the deep sea below 200 meters, due to the fact that there is no sunlight throughout the year and can only rely on the sedimentation of organic matter above the ocean, the organic matter here is relatively shallow, so the number of organisms that can be fed is also limited. And the death of whales is precisely whatCan provide a lot of energy for the creatures of the deep sea.

After whales die, the smell of corruption will attract scavenger sharks or other large fishes. The skin of whales is very thick, and they must have sharp enough teeth to bite their skin.

If a dead whale has not been bitten by other creatures for a long time, the microbes in the whale’s intestine will decompose the whale from the inside out, and a large amount of gas will be formed during the decomposition process, which will burst the whale’s skin.If the internal pressure is too great, the whale’s body will explode, and this phenomenon is called "whale explosion."

Generally stranded sharks are often prone to whale bursts, and whale bursts will cause the internal organs of the whales to be mixed with a large number of microorganisms and splashed to far away places, so whale bursts are also known as "the largest biological weapon in nature.".

After the scavengers continue to eat, the oil and muscle of the whale will decrease, and this will increase the density of the whale, which will slowly sink to the bottom of the sea.

After sinking to the bottom of the sea, creatures on the bottom of the sea can feed on the remains of whales. According to a researcher from the Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, a 40-ton whale sinking into the deep sea is equivalent to the same area for at least 2000 yearsNatural sedimentation of organic matter.

In the deep sea, not only the meat of whales can be used as food, but even the bones can be eaten by polychaetes and crustaceans; and they can also use whales as a shelter from natural enemies; anaerobic bacteriaIt can slowly decompose in whale remains and release sulfides; some bacteria can convert these sulfides into organic matter to feed the local ecosystem.

It is understood that in the deep sea of ​​the North Pacific, at least more than 10,000 creatures rely on whale falls to survive. The ecosystem provided by whale falls can last for decades or even hundreds of years.

Therefore, the whale falls, hot springs on the seabed, and cold springs on the seabed are called by scientists as the "three major life oases on the seabed".

Decrease of whale falling

Due to the vast ocean area and the harsh seabed environment, the number of whale landings observed in the world so far is less than 50. Although there are more whale landings hidden in the deep sea, the number of whale landings is stillDeclining.

First of all, because the survival of whales is affected by humans, whales rely on fish in the ocean for food, and in recent years, humans have caught a lot of marine life, which has affected the food of whales and inhibited population development.

It is understood that in the past when whales were more prosperous, there would be a "whale landing" almost every tens of kilometers, but now the whale landing is declining, and this also affects the survival of marine life, especially someSpecies that rely heavily on whale landing.

Although many countries and regions around the world classify whales as protected animals, the protection of whales is still difficult. First of all, because they will swim around in the ocean, humans cannot establish protected areas for them.

Secondly, they have a very large demand for food. A blue whale can swallow thousands of catties of krill in one mouthful, and we simply cannot provide them with so much food. In addition, humans have also targeted krill and preparedExploit hundreds of millions of tons of krill resources in Antarctica, which in turn will lead to a decline in the number of whales.

Secondly, whales have a long reproductive cycle, slow littering, and a small number of litters. This also causes that once the number of this species drops, it will be difficult to restore the original number. We need to invest more resources to protect the whale.


When looking at death from a higher perspective, we will find that death is sometimes more romantic. The energy of a whale comes from the ocean, and after it dies, it returns the energy to the ocean. Life on earth is based on this energy.The cycle can last for billions of years without ever ending.

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