well-decomposed whale covered in octopi and other sea creaturesIn a piece for Nautilus, Sarah DeWeerdt writes about the long-term impact of whaling on the deep-sea ecosystems that depend on “whale fall” — whale corpses that settle in the depths, bringing massive amounts of nutrients with them. These fallen cetaceans nourish hundreds of species, but industrial whaling’s devastation has likely led to the disappearance of many whale-fall specialist species — and more that still hang on are threatened. DeWeerdt brings this unique ecosystem to life and leads us through the science that is working to understand both these creatures and our devastating impact on them. Image: National Marine Sanctuaries via Wikimedia Commons