How Whale Poop Helps Mitigate Climate Change

It all has to do with the phytoplanktons that love munching on it!
Loukia Papadopoulos

Whales are wondrous creatures that dominate the deep seas but did you know that their poop is also really useful? In this entertaining and enlightening video, Hank Green explains exactly why on the YouTube channel SciShow.

Each whale consumes around 200 tonnes of food each year and they feed on squid and octopus which are filled with iron. They then poop out all their iron-filled excrements on the surface of the water.

The poop floats on top of the water becoming food for the ocean's phytoplankton. These tiny plants love iron!

Once fed, phytoplankton can reproduce like crazy, doubling their numbers in a single day. They then create swirls of green areas visible from space called blooms.

These blooms do a lot of photosynthesizing and suck up lots of dissolved carbon dioxide. They also end up feeding all kinds of marine creatures. 

Once the phytoplankton die, their bodies end up on the bottom of the ocean along with all the carbon monoxide they ingested. Once they descend down there, they stay right there, which means a lot of pollution has been eliminated from our planet.

How much carbon dioxide do whales get rid of? You have to watch the video to find out.

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