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The joy of watching a whale carcass is eaten by octopuses.



  A whale carcass underwater covered with small octopuses.

Live Stream Photo of Nautilus

What are you doing now? Are you worried about the fate of democracy? It seems like the week is sort of crawling, even though you had a Monday break? Stop all this and watch a bunch of octopuses lift a decaying whale 10,000 feet below sea level. ( Thank you, Ed Yong .) In the scale of soothing activities, it fits somewhere between puppies' puppies and watching a dark and clear starry night. Here's a five-minute clip:

You can watch live here.

A team aboard the Nautilus discovered the skeleton of a whale just hours ago according to a Twitter message on a research vessel while exploring the underwater Davidson Mountain with a pair of remote-controlled vehicles. In addition to scientists and truly adorable octopuses, the dead whale has attracted the attention of healthy eels and lots ( lots ) of bone-feeding worms. The worms are so tightly packed on the skeleton that at first they look like some kind of algae. The sunken corpse is called a whale fall and can support an entire community of creatures, according to the National Ocean Service, as it is here.

"We didn't know he was here. It was a surprise to everyone, "noted one of the crew members telling the show. Listening to the crew chat as they move around the stage is part of the show's fascination. They talk about the bone samples they'll take to find out "who was our whale friend"; they oooh over a photo-bombing octopus ; they wonder if the long tubular structures are (or are) the whale's aortas; they notice that some of the animals that visit the whale fall seem distant, as if they are in a food coma for gratitude. It is a pleasure that scientists also note that there are more people watching their live stream than ever before. And how could it not be? Watching the issue feels like a drug. Every element is so alien; we are deep underwater, the dead whale is a habitat and even these bone-eating worms are beautiful.

Future Time is a partnership of Slate New America and Arizona State University that studies emerging technology, public policy, and society.


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