Watch a Pig Decompose Underwater
By Casey Chan
Pork is absolutely delicious any which way you cook it and it seems like sea lice, which are like ocean maggots apparently, would agree too. The sea lice do most of the heavy eating and shrimp come in to finish the job. It’s disturbingly exciting.
Why did scientists throw a dead pig in the ocean? Well, they wanted to get a better idea of how bodies decompose underwater. The experiment, led by forensic scientist Gail Anderson from Simon Fraser University in Canada, shows a pig carcass inside a cage and tracks its entire progress. New Scientist says:
Sharks are unable to tuck in since it’s enclosed (as is the octopus lurking at the end of the video), giving sea lice exclusive access to the remains. They enter orifices in droves to feast on the animal from the inside out and congregate on the cage bars to prevent other arthropods, like shrimp, from getting a bite. “By the end of the fourth day, the sea lice had left and the pigs were reduced to bones,” says Anderson.
Shrimp come into finish the job but when the scientists retrieved the bones, they were “strangely” jet black for 48 hours. They’ve never seen that before and are looking at what caused the turn in color. Watch the video, it ain’t pretty. [New Scientist via BoingBoing]