Whales were built with the heftiness of elephants and the grace of a ballerina. My head rests against the back of my shoulders as my neck begins to cramp from looking up. My neck hurts but my eyes won’t move. The flat escalator has taken me into a tunnel of glass where the fish and other creatures swim around and above me. It feels surreal as I stand dry and breathing shallow breaths from my uncomfortable body position.
A shadow falls across the entire tunnel’s width as an Orca whale swims overhead. The aquarium is the majestic palace housing these amazing creatures and giving ordinary citizens, like my self, the only opportunity I’ll have to get close to one of God’s biggest creatures. You don’t have to be five-years-old to be in awe of these water mammoths.
As I reappear on the other side of the tunnel, still dry and almost the same person, the majesty of the whale remains with me. Therefore, my surprise in finding out how vital a role Whales and their feces potentially play in the marine ecosystem was not the start but a reaffirmation of how incredible these mystic creatures are.
NPR has an article detailing how significant the Whale’s poop is to the marine ecosystem. Whale’s poop is rich in nitrogen and floats in water, which helps foster algae growth and plankton life on the surface of the ocean. In contrast, fish poop is rich in nitrogen but sinks to the ocean floor for the bottom feeders.
What did I learn? Orca whales are more than just beautiful sea creatures; they are an integral part of marine society.