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Microbes ate Gulf oil - really fast

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posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:34 AM

More than a year after the largest oil spill in history, scientists have discovered that much of the oil was eaten by microbes, fast - but they still don't know what the microbes did with all the energy they gained.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers studied samples from the surface oil slick and surrounding Gulf waters. They found that bacterial microbes inside the slick degraded the oil five times faster than microbes outside the slick, largely explaining how the slick disappeared just three weeks after Deepwater Horizon’s Macondo well was shut off.

However, there was no increase in the number of microbes inside the slick — something you'd expect as a byproduct of increased consumption. ily_all_sections+%28TG+Daily+-+All+News%29

Seems amazing, huh?

I can't say I can imagine how the bacteria broke down all that oil five times faster than it was expected to. Something in the numbers isn't balancing properly, but the short story is this might be considered great news.

Just adding this to keep our information as current as possible.
edit on 2-8-2011 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:41 AM
I dont believe a word of it, the oil is still there, either coating the ocean floor or broken down enough not to be visible on the surface. I still believe that there is oil rising from the floor and it has all been conveniently forgotten about. There is just now possible way all that oil is gone and the oceans are clean and sound again, it also will have drifted into deeper water causing extended pollution and death.

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:45 AM
The distraction word here is “Surface oil“.

All that oil has not just been eaten by microbes. The Corexit has the oil in giant blobs below the surface.

Most of the oil is still in the Gulf affecting all life of the Gulf, especially the bottom feeders and the animals that fed off them.

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:46 AM
Bit strange isnt it?

For months ppl complained about the impact for the environment and then all of a sudden these microbes come along and eat it up. The really intresting question is what happens to the parts not eaten? Where do these go to?

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 08:48 AM
If this is true then is great news. It still seems odd that the lil microbes just ate much surface oil and didnt reproduce or grow somehow. DEEP but hope its good news.
edit on 8/2/11 by Ophiuchus 13 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 09:09 AM
If we are to believe any of this then perhaps something else to consider especially in the light of a constant population is what by-product could they be creating in the conversion of that energy?

posted on Aug, 2 2011 @ 09:28 AM
The questions I would tend to have concern the impact of the microbes on the environment.

Let's face it, humans have a pretty terrible track record of trying to deal with one environmental "nuisance" by introducing foreign organisms to the environment, only to discover that this new organism has no known natural predator (or control mechanism) and wreaks havoc on the native biosphere.

If, on the off chance that everything has actually gone better than planned... wonderful news and hats off to the scientists involved!

the Billmeister
edit on 2-8-2011 by Billmeister because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 09:32 PM
Well withc is it 90 percent of it was evaporated or aten by microbes :/ sounds sketchy to me..
now there saying microbes at them ? the heck

posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 07:05 AM

Originally posted by Maxmars

However, there was no increase in the number of microbes inside the slick

It's really hard to believe that there was no increase in the numbers of microbes, in my opinion. Also, my question has always been, if the microbes ate all of the oil and there is no byproduct, then what happens when the microbes die? What happens to the microbes? Do they just, POOF, disappear?

It's just really, very hard to believe that there is no impact.

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