Time-lapse shows how 337 dead whales can reshape a landscape
The footage shows the fate of endangered sei whales that died in Patagonia in 2015, the largest die-off of baleens ever observed.
In 2015, scientists discovered a grizzly scene in a remote fjord of Patagonia, Chile: a mass die-off of 337 baleen whales. Later investigation revealed that they were sei whales, an endangered species of baleen whale.
At the time the cause of death was unknown, but the event—the largest beaching of baleen whales ever observed—is now attributed to a harmful algal bloom, also called a red tide for its often rusty-red coloration. (See how a red tide is devastating wildlife in Florida.)
They decided to change course and document the beaching event, including setting up 16 time-lapse cameras to film the whale carcasses as they decayed over a period of up to two years.