While exploring Davidson Seamount, an undersea mountain off the Central California coast, researchers with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary came upon an active feeding frenzy.
Using the Nautilus explorer, the research team found a whale carcasses that had sunk to the ocean floor, about 4,000 feet below the surface. This is referred to a "whale fall," and in the video below, you can see the latter stages of such an event, when an array of ocean creatures arrive to feast.
In the video you can see multiple small octopuses feeding on the animal, as well as dozens of small fish, eels, and crabs. The scientists estimate this was a 12- to 15-foot baleen whale, and they're working to determine the species.
Per the team:
While evidence of whale falls have been observed to remain on the seafloor for several years, this appears to be a relatively recent fall with baleen, blubber, and some internal organs remaining. The site also exhibits an interesting mid-stage of ecological succession, as both large scavengers like eel pouts are still stripping the skeleton of blubber, and bone-eating Osedax worms are starting to consume lipids (fats) from the bones. Other organisms seen onsite include crabs, grenadier, polychaetes, and deep-sea octopus.
[h/t: Business Insider]