Lithodes couesi is one of the species to be found on the Rosebud Whale Fall, located off the coast of Point Loma in San Diego at a depth of 2765 feet (843 meters). “Rosebud,” a 60 foot female fin whale weighing 23 tons, had washed up on the beach after being struck and killed by a ship. In order to study what would happen to the carcass as it lay on the ocean floor (the first whale fall was discovered by a Navy bathyscaphe only in 1977 ), Greg Rouse of Scripps Institution of Oceanography quickly mobilized to sink it in a location in which the natural processes could be observed. Seven tons of chain and shackles (visible in the upper right corner of this detail) were used to sink the fallen giant, in November 2011, twelve miles offshore. Since then, there have been at least six visits by R.O.V.s (Remotely Operated Vehicles) to track the colonization and the slow disintegration of the Rosebud skeleton, an ecosystem unto itself, lying one and a half miles beneath the surface of the ocean.
My painting, ROSEBUD WHALE FALL, visually describes some of the notable creatures which have been discovered at this deep ocean site.
Detail, ROSEBUD WHALE FALL, Oil on canvas mounted on panel, 27 x 40″
© Tanya Young 2020.