Microbes Ate My Oil Spill
It's a B-movie plot we can all cheer: A newly discovered, fast-eating species of microbes may have devoured the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater plume of oil.According to Terry Hazen, a microbial ecologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, light sweet Louisiana crude is easily digestible. It's as smooth, apparently, as a mint julep on a lazy summer day on the Gulf.
As if you weren't getting your fill of pretty oil-spill imagery, Hazen says that within two weeks of the capping of the Macondo well in July, the 22-mile-long deep-sea plume could no longer be detected. Instead, a phenomenon called "marine snow" indicated that microbes had been feasting on hydrocarbons.