Massive amounts of sea stars from Alaska to southern California are losing limbs and dying from a mysterious disease that researchers know very little about. Research into what scientists have dubbed "sea star wasting syndrome" or "melting syndrome" is ongoing, but definitive answers remain elusive. 

Elise LaDouceur is a Resident Anatomic Pathologist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. She has been receiving sea star samples since the die-off began. In the video above, she gives glimpse into what she's been seeing in her lab as well as some potential causes being investigated. 

The SeaDoc Society is also investigating the mass-mortality event, which has had an impact on Salish Sea populations. Support the work here

Below you'll find a time-lapse video of an affected sea star losing several limbs over the span of just seven hours as well as a video of the ocean floor before and after the decimation of a sea star population. 

Sea Star Wasting: Timelapse

Video by the Vancouver Aquarium.  

Before & After a Die-off

Hutt Island sea star population before and after the die-off. Video by the Vancouver Aquarium.