Spotted: Prince of Whales Canoodling!

GUEST BLOGGER ALERT! One of my favorite people in the world …Ms. Saskia van Gendt! A couple things about Saskia. 1) She is one of the original ii party planners. 2) She can make a mean sandwich especially when it entails gouda cheese. 3) Has a strong love for the planet Earth 4) Is working with me on a list of words that are hard to spell. On it: cinnamon and thorough. Thanks, Sas for your contribution to Ocean Week on Intense Individuals! 

Warning, you’re probably going to want to keep yesterday’s happy little guy at your fingertips because this one’s kinda grisly.  (While I’m passing out tips, never ever Google Image “goiter”!!!)

Announcing the Osedax, also affectionately called the zombie worm and snot flower, the Chim Chimney sweeps of the ocean floor.  As Steely Dan would say, “They’re a fool to do your dirty work.”

These 2 centimeter long worms swoop in after a “whale fall”, the rare event when a whale carcass falls the 4,000 meters to the ocean floor.  An 80 year old whale can provide nourishment for dozens of species for 50 to 100 years.

The Osedax smell the rotting remains from miles away and descend by the thousands to feast on the oil in the whale bones.  A 40 ton whale skeleton can contain 3,000 kilograms of fats inside their bones. Talk about doubling down!

That’s not all.  When scientists first discovered the Osedax in 2002 they thought there were only females, but it turns out that the females had 50 to 100 microscopic male worms livinginside of them.  Go figure!  That’s awkward.  Anyway that’s their deal – cleaning up all the mess on the ocean floor and probably dancing a dandy jig as they do it.  Chim Chimney!

Also 2 facts to keep in mind for your ocean creature research:

Behind every interesting sea creature is an enticing band name.

And a great craft project.