He’s seen photos where only blobs of blubber remained of a dead whale; even then, a great white was hanging around. A dead whale can mean many things, but fundamentally, it is fat, flesh, and bone decomposing very slowly into nothing. All whales eventually sink; on the floor of the deep ocean, they can become “whale falls,” where ocean life dramatically blooms. A colleague witnessed this exact event, Moore confirmed, while responding to a report of a dead right whale. The deaths of North Atlantic right whales are tracked especially closely because they are critically endangered, with fewer than 400 left in the world.