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Jacquie Sewell

Whale Fall Café


When a whale carcass lands on the deep ocean floor, a café opens for business, and the diners don't stop rooting their way through the menu until the cupboards are bare.

Hagfish, zombie worms, sleeper sharks--this group of patrons is stranger than the denizens of the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars. A fish in a lab coat, piloting a deep-sea submersible, is our guide to the weirdly fascinating goings-on miles beneath the ocean surface.

The backmatter includes rare whale-fall photos from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Dr. Robert Vrijenhoek of MBARI and Dr. Craig Smith, a deep-ocean ecologist at the University of Hawaii, have helped Jacquie Sewell to ensure scientific accuracy.