Dorothy Boorse in Christianity Today Publication: The Death of a Whale Means Life for Generations
What happens when an 18-foot, multi-ton whale dies? Ocean life gets a grand, unexpected, decades-long feast. On a recent field trip to nearby Gloucester, Massachusetts, biology professor Dr. Dorothy Boorse and her students stumbled upon this very scene.
She recounts the simultaneously disturbing and mesmerizing encounter in her article, “Sunken Treasure: The End of a Great Creature’s Life is the Beginning of a Long, Deep Community,” published in Christianity Today’s The Behemoth, a digital magazine that illustrates the intricacies of God’s creation in the worlds of science, history, theology and sociology.
“Everything we have seen with our remote vehicles or manned submarines is only the tiniest glimpse of the mystery of the distant ocean bottom. When I stood with my students on the shore, looking at the bloated carcass of a smallish dead whale, we were tapping into the inscrutable marine world far away that we will never see.
“Neither I, nor the students with me on our field trip, had ever before seen a dead whale outside of a nature film. Decay is not naturally attractive to many people. It was gross. And fabulous. But to the myriad creatures designed to clean the world of dead things—the scavengers, the worms, and the bacteria whose bodies allow them to use resources we cannot—the purple-black and gray of that corpse represented not life’s end, but its provision. Not a loss, but the beginning of a community that would last for generations.”
Image: Christianity Today