Scientists on Twitter have been sharing their grossest, goriest, and most striking photos of carcasses — a fun way to pass the time if you’re into death and wildlife photography. The #BestCarcass debate comes on the heels of the #BestBeard, #BestStripes, and #BestSpots, and it’s as tight a contest as ever. In fact, this looks like the biggest field of entrants yet, with over 100 entries this morning alone. Apparently there’s something in the air that makes it feel like a good time to be morbid — perhaps winter, or a different thing looming in the near future.
The photos range from close-ups of insects being devoured from the inside out to wide shots of massive beached whales, and from “lovely, quiet death,” to “blood and guts!!!!!!!” There’s something for everyone, honestly.
This half-dolphin is my personal favorite, both because dolphins are objectively not good and because David Shiffman, the University of Miami PhD student and shark biologist who shared the image, also shared an article explaining why this dolphin is dead and missing half its body. I read it! It’s a very interesting story, which could easily be adapted into a chilling campfire tale: scientists think the dolphins were probably weakened by the same virus that causes measles in people (vaccinate your kids, if you’re a human) and then bitten in half by great white sharks.
It may be a little morbid, but death is a part of life and when you study living things you study dead things, too.
Someone who does not love dead animal bodies submitted this photo of a plant body massacre.
We’ll probably never come to a consensus about what the best carcass is, not only because taste is subjective but because the ongoing conversation about it is way too much fun.
In any case, we can all agree that scientists are the best at Twitter.