August 17th, 2010
11:59 AM ET

Scientists: Toxic organisms, oil found on Gulf floor

John Paul says, at first, he couldn't believe his own scientific data showing toxic microscopic marine organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. He repeated the field test. A colleague did his own test. All the results came back the same: toxic.

It was the first time Paul and other University of South Florida scientists had made such a finding since they started investigating the environmental damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preliminary results, the scientists believe, show that oil that has settled on the floor is contaminating small sea organisms.

Paul is a marine microbiologist with the University of South Florida. He and 13 other researchers were in the middle of a 10-day research mission that began August 6 in the Gulf of Mexico when they made the toxic discovery.

The researchers battled 12-foot waves and storms but returned to St. Petersburg, Florida Monday night.

We were there as the team pulled its research materials into the lab and got the first report back of their initial findings.

The researchers found micro-droplets of oil scattered across the ocean floor and they also found those droplets moving up through a part of the Gulf called the DeSoto Canyon, a channel which funnels water and nutrients into the popular commercial and recreational waters along the Florida Gulf Coast.
The scientists say even though it's getting harder to see the oil the Gulf is still not safe.

"This whole concept of submerged oil and the application of dispersants in the subsurface and what are the impacts that it could have, have changed the paradigm of what an oil spill is from a 2-dimensional surface disaster to a 3-dimensional catastrophe," said David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer and one of the lead scientists on the recent USF mission.

Reports focus on lingering effects of Gulf Oil spill

soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. CNelson

    Interesting! This morning on News Radio 890 WLS in Chicago, they said the fisherman are catching shrimp that are safe to eat... hmm... I call this B.S.! America has lost the Revolution War to England, our 1st amendment is gone, there is no free press in the Gulf, BP has been able to block the press from getting to the waters edge and from any other information. This is not good for anyone living in the U.S. Thank you CNN for being the only News Agency reporting this!

    August 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • lili

      AWESOME STATED!!

      August 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamin0

      I heard the same thing on the radio as well. As much as I would like for that to be true I don't believe it. Now that I think about it I feel bad for all those people in the seafood industry who make their living via the Gulf. Very few are likely to trust their products.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • relians

      remember, there are as many americans on the bp board of directors as brtis, and the company that did the drilling was american, and those that bypassed the safety laws were american....

      August 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbi Head

      Well of course it is on the bottom of the ocean floor. Who really believed this miraculously disappeared and all just went away? Where did you expect it would go?

      August 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reythia

      Actually, it's entirely likely that fishermen are pulling out safe shrimp in SOME areas of the Gulf. However, that's not the same as saying that shrimp (etc) are safe to eat everywhere, nor that they will remain safe to eat as time goes on.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • c6022

      You can bet that I wont be eating ANYTHING from the Gulf anymore.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael Daily

      The shrimp is a separate problem from oil at depth – they live in shallow water where the oil is clearing. This is not related to whether gulf seafood is safely edible.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Jeremy : My answer to your answer, AGAIN. PLEASE TAKE A CHEMISTRY COURSE. Milk has oil in it too.
      http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfactant

      August 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Please don't eat Gulf Seafood. It is far too tasty, and there is not enough to go around. Just continue to eat seafood from China like you were doing before. They have no pollution problems in their waters. Really. You can trust China on product safety.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • TexaN

      Thank you, CNelson, for sipping the Kool-Aid and drinking in this liberal media propaganda. CNN isn't "looking out for you." They, like most forms of our American media, insight hysteria, panic, and misinformation at our cost.

      On a side note, 95% of the people commenting on this article have absolutely no expertise in the subject matter, so stop acting like you know what you're talking about.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • dwighthuth

      I do not know what type of special relativity mind trick you are trying to play but America still won the Revolutionary War The First Amendmant is still in there and you are completely crazed individual who thinks they can change the events of the past by wishful thinking.

      Sounds like Bellview is calling you to come take your medication.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew Friet

      CNelson, you are either a master of sarcasm or a complete moron. Cnn has become basically a state-controlled media and only report the items that the left fringe want us to see.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • oil_man

      CNN desperate to improve ratings. They will report anything to get a buzz. For weeks we watched the oil surging out of the riser to the surface. Did anyone see any of it sinking to the bottom. No! No! No!.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mezapsych

      With the large amount of oil that leaked and all the dispersant used how can anyone be surprised at where oil is being found.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clairebell

      The Washington Post ran the same story this morning, but a lot of the fishermen are dubious. SOme are running their own testing and some of their buyers are requiring that the shipment pass muster before the fishermen get paid. It's a raw deal for fishermen, but it makes sense.

      But what kills me is that this is a surprise to ANYONE. There was a spill of epic proportions and the fed just expected it to go away? The experts are saying that 79% of the oil is unacounted for, and the fed says 20% but that still means that it's going to affect the ecosystem. This my friends is political ostriching at its finest.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • starzzguitar

      OIL FLOATS. DUH. I'm sorry, but nature and man are doing their best to clean this up. Don't make a semi-disaster worse. Oil is a NATURAL substance that comes out of the ground, just like the .003 percent of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike in NJ

      So on the one hand, conspiracy theorists like CNelson. On the other hand, 3-6-9, TexaN, Andrew Freit – CNN is the conspiracy, Liberal Media Elites are controlling your mind.

      [Nice one, 369. The oil in your milk is EXACTLY like the oil from the spill. Also, I'd like to sell you the gallon from my last "Car milking" – 3200 miles, and it goes great with corn flakes! Moron.]

      Or we could look at the SCIENCE, with an UNBIASED MIND, and make CONCLUSIONS based on FACTS and EVIDENCE. And the EVIDENCE is that some Gulf seafood may be safe, and some may not be... but unless we test and continue to test, we won't know.

      So make sure it's tested. Why must eveything be so difficult for you people??

      August 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Oil that has been saturated with dispersant does not float, nor does it simply "disappear" as BP and our own government would like for everyone to think. It breaks up into microscopic droplets that stick to particles and plankton and then sinks, where - as BP planned - it will sit "out of sight out of mind" for everyone except those who used to love Gulf seafood.

      Don't let BP off the hook so easy.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Process check. CNN is not the only news agency reporting unhappy facts. Rolling Stone published a detailed article last month about the horrorshow that was being created by BP injecting up to 70K gallons per day of toxic dispersant directly into the leak 5000 feet down. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess is the thinking.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • evoc

      More anti-American hate. Focus on the topic. What was found in the test results? What toxins? We're not in kindergarten here.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rotors

      Red Flags going up here...
      First, this isn't going out on any of the other news channels. A find like this would be MAJOR news, if it were true and confirmed.

      Second, where did the oil come from? I hate to tell you this, but in the three years that I've been flying offshore, I have seen a huge amount of oil spills, from ships dumping their bilges, to pipeline leaks, to leaking or blownout wells. While it is PROBABLE that the oil came from the MC252 well, lets let them test it to confirm. It could be that their sample area was at a natural seep (yes, they DO exist). Remember those Tar balls in South Florida?

      Third, and this one I admit with some sadness, is that you cannot trust ANY media. I have been involved with the cleanup since the beginning, and I can say with certainty that what I have seen published by the media (and CNN in particular) is HIGHLY SENSATIONALIZED! It seems that the only way to get ratings is to paint it in doom and gloom, and throw the word "catastrophe" around as much as you can.

      In summary, until I get a confirmed scientific report or confirmation from a variety of news sources, I'm chalking this one up as "rumors/gossip". I would encourage you all to do the same.

      August 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • tdog

      Yeah, the oil just magically disappeared. You sir, are an idiot.

      August 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • DD

      What was the fisherman's name? Brian Amos? http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2010/aug/17/gulf-shrimp-shortage-not-from-oil-or-dispersant/news/

      August 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Montero

      wow

      August 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • PhilipShade

      Mother Jones produced a large released a large in depth investigation last week.
      http://motherjones.com/environment/2010/09/bp-ocean-cover-up?page=1

      August 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • ken

      great,
      you refuse to eat gulf shrimp and the price of your shrimp goes up while the price of all my seafood goes down. do not come cryin to ne liberal

      August 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • ddogsdad

      What a load of BS, The Internet makes the Freedom of the Press and the Freedom of Speech stronger everyday. The fact that I can add to a CNN discussion says it all. President Obama is trying to put the best face possible on this disaster. If he doesn't more jobs will be lost. More Americans will go hungry. The Government needs to send every Scientist available out into the GOM to gather and evaluate data. I trust President Obama and the Government a WHOLE LOT more than I trust BP or Exxon. Still it pays to be vigilant.

      August 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • fishfry001

      @TexaN: And I assume you have a degree in microbiology? Please head to the Gulf now. Go swimming and eat as much seafood as you can, quick while it's really fresh!

      August 17, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • fishfry001

      @Mike in NJ: You said it best, man. Good job.

      August 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • todd stevens

      Right now, shrimp are tested for toxins by sniffing them. Frankly, I'm not going to trust someone's nose over a more scientific test.

      When they are able to determine the safety of seafood in the gulf, then I will consider it.

      This was the worst spill in US history, do you really think everything is all clear so quickly? Ask me in a decade, at least.

      August 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • squinn

      Directly copied from wikipedia.com:
      The relative toxicity of Corexit and other dispersants are difficult to determine due to a scarcity of scientific data.[3] The manufacturer's safety data sheet states "No toxicity studies have been conducted on this product,"

      August 17, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthBeTold4U

      This means that the oil has gotten into the very basic level of the food chain and will work it's way up, poisoning most all life in the Gulf for quite some time... the question is, for how long? Eventually, there won't be any oil left for the microorganisms to consume and therefore, eventually, the larger animals that consumed the toxins will die as well... This might take decades however..

      August 18, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tom Jones

    Why would people believe the oil would just go away? It had to go somewhere, and odds on that it would settle on the bottom.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JW

      Exactly!! This report didn't surprise me even a little bit. Just because the well isn't spewing oil anymore doesn't mean this is over, not by a long shot. Those contaminated microorganisms are the bottom of the food chain–so how could any food coming from the Gulf be 'safe'?

      August 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      "Odds"?? What odds? Last I checked, oil is lighter than water, so it should float to the top.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      to ryan in texas. Maybe bacteria eat oil, but they don't eat oil mixed with Corexit. Furthermore, if bacteria eat millions of gallons of natural oil seeping each day, why did BP have to use dispersants in the first place? It should have all been naturally eaten by bacteria right? It was just a few million gallons. I think you work for BP and you are a liar. We are tired of the lies.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • zizewitz

      RYAN IN TEXAS

      What you say are facts. The oil spilled by BP is only a fraction of the total which naturally filters into the GOLF. And these pseudo-scientists have still not explained how oil lighter than water remains on the bottom, or, if they do as combination with the dispersant, how they manage to get rid of these dispersant and reappear on the urface (in whivh case they would be easily swept)

      What these so called scientists do is predict doom, so they get paid by the media for their articles and make money.

      Fact is that a combination of BP skills and a large percentage of good look has maintained the damage on a relative low level.
      Which does not excuse the lack of prevention and the sometime sloppy performance of BP, especially BEFORE the spill!!

      August 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Jeremy. Please take an introductory course in chemistry please. Maybe oil floats in water, but Corexit mixed with oil does not.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Jeremy. Another thing is maybe pure oil like vegetable oil floats in water, but crude oil is made up of much more than simply oil. It also has benzene, hexane and other substances which do not float, but mix with water

      August 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeta411

      Rush Limbaugh said that the nature will take care of it, nothing to worry about. Trust him. He is the most intelligent man living on earth.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • zizewitz

      TO 3-6-9

      You ask "why did BP have to use dispersants in the first place? It should have all been naturally eaten by bacteria right?"

      You must be joking, right??

      Obviously, the bacteria does not eat oill instaneously, but takes time. If dispersnat would not have used, the concentrated flow of oil from the well would have finished nearly completely on the surface and before the bacterias finished their feast, eventually killed seelife and contaminate the coast.

      The captioned natural 20 Million barrels enter the Gulf distributed over 1 year and originate from much larger floor surface. Therefore, they are very rapidly eaten and not noticed. The BP spill, coming in a concentarted form both in surface and time, will obviously take longer to disapperar, but lthe final result will be the same.

      No scandal mongering Media and scientists will change these facts.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      3-6-9, the density of salt water is ~1030 kg/m^3....the density of light sweet crude is ~850 kg/m^3. Now, do you still think that crude oil will sink?

      August 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ms. English

      'zizewitz"- You are a blabbering idiot. Please check your grammar, punctuation, and proper use of English verbs and pronouns before trying to post a credible scientific retort to this thread.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Jeremy : My answer to your answer, AGAIN. PLEASE TAKE A CHEMISTRY COURSE. Milk has oil in it too.
      http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfactant

      August 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      3-6-9, maybe you should be the one to repeat a basic class....1st grade mathematics. Why are you referring to Milk? That has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Jeremy. You really make me laugh. I feel sorry for you bud. I seriously wonder if you've passed middle school. Better quit while you're ahead. It is very obvious that you know nothing about chemistry.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Whatever....no argument so you result to insults.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      BTW, thanks for finally admitting that I am ahead in this discussion....I've known that I am correct and am glad to see you finally realizing that fact.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      If the people are republican they will!

      August 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      Tom Jones
      Why would people believe the oil would just go away? It had to go somewhere, and odds on that it would settle on the bottom.

      Maggie If the people are republican they will!

      August 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica, Grand Rapids MI

      Ryan In Texas – so do we normally put highly toxic dispersants on that "natural seepage"? No, of course we dont – so your opinion that "everything is fine and dandy" has no validity here. Also, just because "industry professionals" tell us that all this oil naturally seeps onto the floor – and its perfectly fine – doesnt make it so. Naturally, they'd want to maintain that position to remain in operation, especially if half of the oil seepage isnt actually natural. It's funny, you want to believe Big Business – that has a bottom line to worry about, over scientists? We've got a whole history of proof showing us that business owners and operators rarely disclose to the true health and environmental risks until we discover it on our own – and then it's too late.
      The fish from our oceans are probably no better or worse than the cows in our agriculture factories pumped full chemicals – that, trust me, are just fine for your health.

      Of course, can we just stop asking ourselves "where is all this cancer coming from"? the answer appears pretty clear at this point, it's in our food. we arent smart enough not to sh!& where we eat, some human evolution, huh?

      August 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      Jessica, so the scientists don't have a "bottom line" to worry about? Do they work for free?

      August 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      @Ms. English: You failed to use parallel structure.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      There are mushrooms that are toxic. They help break down forest materials into non-toxic soil. There are bacteria that eat poop. They make the septic system work. Something nasty gets broken down into something beneficial. Crude oil is always being broken down by bacteria in the Gulf. There is a large enough culture of bacteria to eat the 20 million gallons of oil that naturally seeps up from the bottom of the Gulf every year. Bacteria reproduce quickly. Bacteria are essential to the digestion of food in Humans. The bacteria change the chemical structure of what they eat. It might sound odd that they can eat crude oil, but some bacteria don't even use oxygen! You have eaten oil. But once it makes it through your body, it is no longer oil. Where did it go? Surely it must still be hiding in your body. Although body fat is similar, it is not the same oil. Most of it gets used for energy. That's right, your body burns the oil for energy. But just like you can't get the energy back, the oil is also gone forever. So when you are told that oil can't just disappear, remember the oily french fries you ate, and what became of the potato and oil that are no longer here.

      August 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • zizewitz

      TO; MS. ENGLISH
      (A MISGUIDED SOUL)

      So, I am an idiot because my English punctuation is not good, and I can not argue the technical aspect here because of it???

      Regretfully, ALBERT EINSTEIN (not that I am comparing myself with him; by the way, I assume that you never heard his name??) has died, if not, as his English was worse than mine, I would advise him not to post, as an ignorant, chauvinistic (do you understand this term??) person objects to the quality of his English??

      August 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will S

      Actually, professors with tenure (like these USF researchers) generally don't worry about the bottom line. Grants and funding, maybe, but not the "bottom line". Their jobs are secure...unlike government scientists.

      August 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthBeTold4U

      This means that the oil has gotten into the very basic level of the food chain and will work it's way up, poisoning most all life in the Gulf for quite some time... the question is, for how long? Eventually, there won't be any oil left for the microorganisms to consume and therefore, eventually, the larger animals that consumed the toxins will die as well... This might take decades however.. Hopefully, the situation will be carefully monitored so that it does not get into the human foodchain.. and maybe there is some way to vacuum the ocean floor and remove the settled oil since we now know that it is not harmless, but in fact toxic and getting into the whole Gulf food-chain.

      August 18, 2010 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. Scottie

    it is facinating that all these recent claims have no data whasoever to back themn up. How can CNN publish such dramatic headlines with no evidence. This is the same unsupported claim that the Univeristy of Georgia is reportedly saying that 80% of the oil is still out there. NO EVIDENCE of any kind. Don't these scientists care that their speculation is being presented as fact? Maybe, could be, possibly etc etc is not evidence, it is guessing.

    August 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      So now you want science to be backed up with facts? You are too demanding. All that matters is that the hypothesis be in line with political agendas.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck Anaheim, Ca

      Looked like it was pretty factual this morning when I watched the story and they showed the oil on the floor of the gulf. Where do you think the oil went? If you dump a quart of oil on your driveway it will not evaporate it's there for years. We are talking about hundreds of millions of gallons of oil, it just did not "go away" . So give us your idea of where all of this pollutant went.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObjectiveOpinion

      Scottie, you don't believe that 80% of the oil is still out there? Can you venture an 'unscientific' guess where you think the oil has gone?

      August 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreddieBoy

      What do you think happened to the oil, numbskull?
      It just disappeared?
      Some people will believe ANYTHING!

      August 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Scottie appears to be a high ranking BP official.....

      August 17, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ThingsRbad

      You are either a BP employee or a fisherman.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tiffany

      What sort of evidence are you wanting to support these claims? Papers? Data sheets? Peer-reviewed literature? Sorry, but you obviously don't know anything at all about academic science and how it works – there won't be anything publishable from these events for a LONG time, and they won't be making their publishable data public until then because what manuscript will take it if it's already out? Why would researchers spending all their time and grant money on these projects want to let people steal their information?

      These scientists are giving you the information they can, without the "proof" you want because let's be honest – you wouldn't get it if they did. The "proof" will come out months or years from now, in a peer-reviewed and reputable journal that makes it scientifically credible.

      Sorry, but that's how academics works. You just have to trust the scientists until then because until that process is completed, there IS no proof. Only raw data and "speculation" based on the expert opinions of people much, much more qualified to talk about oil, geoclimatic change, and environment implications than some CNN forum blogger.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I'm sure some high-ranking office at BP America has a stake in Corexit and decided to make some money off this deal. But anyway, there are so many half-truths and assumptions being made. They have been able to prove that Corexit does not hinder microbes' ability to process oil. In fact I have seen evidence it enhances it by allowing the microbes grow at a much greater rate since they are not in a pool of oil, but instead immersed in individual droplets of oil. They have also seen different degrees of buoyancy depending on the makeup of the oil (highly variable, even by the gallon coming out of the well). There is so much variable and such a vast area everyone is assuming, speculating and positing. As data becomes available they process it – some of it leaks out early. Welcome to the information age.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • zizewitz

      fully agreed!!

      Why some pseudo scientists make such statement and the Media publish it is very clear: they make money by scandal mongering (see my replies on top of your own post!!)

      August 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Tiffany knows what she's talking about.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reythia

      Tifanny is correct. What scientists would consider "proof" will not come out for probably a year, simply because of the amount of time it takes to formalize the results into paper form. Right now, all we have is "data" or "samples" or "evidence" supporting a position. Of course, that same delay is ALSO true for researchers from BP, the government, etc. Why are you willing to accept BP's word for it without proof, but not scientists who were unconnected to the creation of the problem in the first place?

      Also, as someone who works at USF in the marine school (though not, personally, with the oil data), I can confirm that the research vessel which collected these samples just came back LAST NIGHT. How can you possibly ask them for more than "strong evidence" when they hadn't even gotten the whole ship unloaded?!

      August 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      The rightwingnut crowd challanging teh scientist and the experts for proof to dislaim the rediculous rantings of Limbaugh, the certified, accredited expert on nothing at all. Todays right has become so stupid they are a danger to themselves and everyone else in this country. They will hold a birth certificate in their hand and still deny it, mountians of evidence on global warming, they just deny it, scientific reasearch from the guld, they deny it. WMD's every excuse in the book. There is nothing to rediculous that today's right wing will not argue at fact as long as they here it on talk radio served up wtih a little hate.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      Did you even read the article there genius? The results are from a feild test, which was repeated to verify. There was "no "guess", no "maybe", no "could be speculation" at all involved here. It was a feild test that came back toxic. You on the orther hand are in denial of evidence becaue a drug adict with a god complex on the radio told you what to think.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobbie

      "NO EVIDENCE of any kind. Don't these scientists care that their speculation is being presented as fact? "

      Since when did they care? They're still trying to present the THEORY of Evolution as fact...

      August 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bridget

      Bobbie– Please, please, learn the difference between the common definition of "theory" and the definition of a "scientific theory." A scientific theory is based on analysis of vast volumes of data, hundreds upon hundreds of experiments (conducted independently by many different scientists), peer-review, consideration of confounding variables, and OVERALL, a massive amount of systematic analysis based on observed data. Please–keep an open mind, and look it up. Scientific theories arise from the facts, moving from observable reality to proposals about causes/processes only when enough evidence has been collected.

      August 17, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      There is a very big difference between a quart of motor oil and a quart of crude oil, especially if the motor oil is synthetic. The reason synthetics were invented in the first place is to prevent breakdown so of course a motor oil will stay on your driveway for quite a long time. Even if the oil is petroleum based, it still has chemicals added to it to help keep it from breaking down. On the other hand, crude oil is made up several very volatile chemicals, and so it evaporates rather quickly, with the heaviest parts remaining around three to four days. Therefore, yes, oil evaporates, yes, you are an idiot, and yes, you just learned basic chemistry from a fifteen year old. I'm not saying this is not an environmental disaster, but oil does not sink, so I'm fairly certain that the toxicity of the organisms the scientists found is due to something else.

      August 18, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. FugginMorons

    Most people are hoping this story goes away. Unfortunately a million+ gallons of Corexit and who knows how much oil doesn't just disappear. It may not be washing up on the shore like it did for the Valdez, but it is every bit as dangerous. Even more so thanks to Corexit which contains multiple carcinogens. Anyone who eats anything out of that water better be desperate.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      Corexit is 1-0-0-0 Hazmat. It was used on the much bigger Ixtoc spill that happened in the Gulf in 1979. There were no measurable environmental impacts 2 years after Ixtoc. Just yesterday test results of gas chromatography on seafood from directly in the spill showed no hydrocarbons (to 1 PPB – part per billion).

      August 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Ryan in texas. Ixtoc was not bigger. And it took years for the ecology to recover. It is barely recovering now.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • nic weathersbee

      first- ryan works for BP, that's obvious.
      second- BP lies about everything to do with this catastrophe.
      third- if you want relevant info, go to the FB Boycott BP page, we have been screaming for months about corexit.
      fourth- oil does float, until you spray dispersant on it....then it sinks and becomes A PART of the food chain.
      fifth- ryan, ixtoc was not bigger than deepwater....although the clowns used the same crappy "methods" to stop it, took them 9 months....with terms like "sombrero" and "junk shot" and "top kill" all being employed...and ixtoc was in 200 ft of water....and they still couldn't stop it.
      sixth- FUBP, fu transocean, FU haliburton, FU tony hayward, FU coast guard, FU fat allen, and a BIG FU to any cops that helped BP strip us of our rights

      August 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Christian

    Scottie – the purpose of a 'scientfic study' is to gather data. There giving you the headlines of the findings. They wouldn't have gone out without collecting massive amounts of data. They're not going to put the data in an article like this. I'm sure you'll be able to chase down the data if you contact the prof. responsible for the study directly or wait until it gets published in a journal. It's a pretty common process. But really to think that all that oil is gone, is just absurd. Of course there's oil there. Applying the dispersant was probably the worst thing BP could've done.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • FugginMorons

      Agreed. Sounds like there is plenty of data, but the technical details would be a bit much for a CNN web article. Most Americans are too dumb to understand it anyway.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3-6-9

      Fuggenmorons. You're right on the money.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scot B

      I'm starting to wonder if the use of sub-surface dispersant wasn't a bad idea also; If it came up to the surface, then you can skim it, and they had the mother of all skimmers out there at one point. Skimming doesn't introduce any more chemicals to the ecosystem either, whereas the ecosystem already has some bacterium that can break down oil. I don't know about this Corexit stuff; the stuff I have in my garage for removing oil or degreasing my car engine is pretty toxic stuff that I wouldn't want in my water supply or anywhere near my food chain if I could avoid it..

      August 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • zizewitz

      I f you believe what you say regarding the media, you area blesses innocent soul.

      August 18, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe

    "The researchers battled 12-foot waves and storms but returned to St. Petersburg, Florida Monday night."
    which suggest that their ship did not sink. Good for them! that was a very important statement to include in the story, quite informative....

    August 17, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Maybe the bacteria that ate the oil is dieing since it is gone and settling on the bottom? Oil is lighter than water, so this makes no sense to me.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Relax Dan, it's okay if it does not make sense to you. It does make sense to the people who are competant

      August 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roy

      If you're going to bash on someone, at least spell competent correctly.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamin0

      HAHA! Nice one Dan 🙂

      August 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • zizewitz

      JOE YOU SAY: it makes semse to competetnt people?? like you?? or the pseudo-scientists which sell their "wisdom" for good dollars?? or the media, which looks for any way to maintain this issue in thenews and so make more money??

      August 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Moe NY

    Of course the oil is still there....just where do you people think the oil went? I know people want to believe the oil is gone, but let's get real and try to deal with reality. The whole area is a toxic mess...just wait until the storms hit that area and the oil settled on the bottom comes onto shore. The dispersants only added to the toxic mess, and actually helped to hide the oil from human eyes...and you know most Americans...out of sight out of mind. Wake up people and face reality.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanadianGeorge

      Well said! You're correct! Most Americans believe in 'see nothing, do nothing'...but at least when they do awaken they don't fear going against BAD GOVERNMENT, BAD POLICIES, BAD LEGISLATION.....up here in Canada we're all afraid of PM Harper so we do nothing, say nothing!

      August 17, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike280

      I think this is all our next President's fault. I also blame Jimmy Carter and London Symphony Orchestra.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottie

      The absurdity and ignorance of these responses is laughable if it were not so sad. Apparantly nobody has had a minute of highschool chemistry. Oil is degraded by a variety of mechanism including bacteria. The products of biodegredation are CO2 and water. The results are not more oil. All of you who refuse to believe the legitimate work done over the past 3 months by scientists not seeking headlines after "battling 12 foot waves" need to think back to this time. There is not going to be any confirmation of "oil drops" or any other kind of oil rolling around on the seabed waiting to be washed on shore by a storm. The use of dispersants was the BEST think they could have done. In fact more should have been applied that would have reduced the real impact of the oil on shorelines. The number of bird fatalaites was a tiny fraction of what happened in Alaska, but it could have been even smaller with the use of more dispersants.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scot B

      Scottie–I'm real leery about the use of the sub-surface dispersants; The oil that didnt wash up on shore "because of" the use of dispersants didn't just disappear–it's out there somewhere and mixed with a bunch of another toxic substance (Corexit?). Do the naturally occurring bacteria in the ocean breakdown Corexit as handily as they breakdown crude oil? If they let all the oil surface first, they could've combatted it with skimmers, fires, and man-made barriers. I think among the problems they encountered was that the oil was in hundreds of mini-slicks that hampered the skimming efforts, rather than a couple big slicks that could be sucked down more effectively by the skimmer ships. When they got the A-Whale out there, there were no slicks big enough for it to go after, so the media quietly reported the A-Whale as a "bust" of technology without really detailing why–nevermind the lack of significant oil slicks for it to skim or the fact that it was out there trying to skim in a tropical storm when everybody else went home.

      It just seems to me that the point of the oil cleanup is to REMOVE toxins from the ocean, our foodchain, and our habitats, not to introduce more toxins to make it less visible but harder to clean up. Isn't that kind of backwards?

      August 17, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy M

      Go Moe!

      August 24, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Marcus

    I was but a child when I learned, at my mothers knee, that OIL AND WATER DO NOT MIX! The oil didn't just disappear; it didn't just evaporate; it didn't float away. Like the resulting medical problems for the "Ground Zero" responders, anyone who lives and/or eats anything from the Gulf is suicidal! Hurricane Katrina placed all kinds of carcinogens in the soil and water, you name it, its there. Now thanks to BP and their dispersants this area has become a no-mans land. Mother nature and BP have KILLED THE GULF, IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME! The first sign will be an unaccounted for increase in malformed babies.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ryan in Texas

    The evidence is mounting that there will be no major environmental disaster. That was just media hype and yet more false scientific theories. We should have expected results similar to the larger Ixtoc spill that happened in the Gulf in 1979. Corexit was used on it. No impacts just 2 years later. 20 million gallons leak from the Gulf floor every year, and yet we don't see it because there are plenty of bacteria to eat it. Combine that with strong thermal and solar degradation, and you have oil that just vanishes.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      wow you almost sound like you know what you are talking about....NOT....the oil is still there and the sun did not dry it up

      August 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreddieBoy

      Rather surprising that someone from Texas could be that clueless about oil.
      No...wait a minute....no it's not.
      Carry On, Ryan, Carry On.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whodattom

      YEA RIGHT, and next you'll be telling me the Holocaust didnt happen too.... Oil just doesnt disapear, like any other chemical compound it breaks into other comounds. BUT, its always there as something. We will be seeing this for years. BP and the other oil companies have ruined the gulf and now they need to be held accountable. It's time for the people to stand up and say enough is enough and your not going to step on me any more!

      August 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valynda

      seriously? millions of gallons of oil just vanishes? Were you aware that oil is still coming ashore in Prince William from the Valdez – so really? You must listen to Rush... Sounds like some crazy crap he would say. Oil just vanishes, I would be on the floor laughing if this was not so serious, escpeically to those of us on the Gulf Coast.

      August 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • c6022

      For all you people that think that oil "just disappears," WTH???? Are you really that ignorant? Are you really going to belive that? For that is what BP and, the other Gulf Oil drillers, would have you think. It really makes it convenient for them for people to go about thinking that.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Nohimuss

      No impacts? Wow, talk about a load of huey. You should watch Black Wave, Legacy of the Exxon Valdez. Unless you are literally the Grinch and your heart is three sizes too small, you will be eating your words.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reythia

      "solar degradation"??
      Tell me: how are you getting sunlight thousands of feet down into the water to where the dispersed oil currently is?
      Additionally, in the Ixtoc spill, you're right that much of the life returned to the region within 2-3 years. Others (turtles, for instance) took a decade. Either way, you're clearly suggesting that this will take a minimum of 2-3 years to clean up, right? Which, in my eyes at least, makes it a serious environmental problem with complicated economic effects. And, mind you, that's assuming your anti-scientific minimum-effect assumption is correct, which I rather doubt.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      There is little solar degradation in Prince Williams Sound. Obviously, there is no thermal breakdown in the ice cold waters. And there are and were no bacteria to break down the oil up there. Plus the Valdez crude was very heavy. When someone compares it to Valdez, they have no idea what they are talking about. The only true comparison is with Ixtoc. Granted, Ixtoc was a bigger spill, but it happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists were baffled by Ixtoc. They searched for long term damages. But just 2 years later they couldn't find any impacts. Harvests of seafood in the area were equal in size and quality. Fish and bird populations were not effected. Of course, the media hype brings bad publicity, and that damage will outlast the spilt crude, but will also eventually fade away.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Ryan is correct in that there is oil seeping into the gulf everyday and that there are bacteria there that help to degrade it into more benign compounds. This was the logic for using dispersants, is to break the oil up into smaller drops that could be more easily broken down. He is also correct that the Valdez is not a great comparison, in part because the oil was on the surface, but also because of the temperatures, oil-degrading bacteria won't work as quickly. While Mexican spill is a better analogy for the BP spill, it is still not a perfect one because of the depths. So yes, the environment responded within a couple years for smaller organisms and a decade or so for larger organisms in that spill. Does that mean that the BP spill, at its depth, with dispersants used to keep oil submerged for longer periods of time, will also not have any decades-long effects? No, not necessarily.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kathleen brady

    I've heard there is as much as 300 feet of oil on the Gulf floor. BP is conveniently ignoring that as is our government and the EPA

    August 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanadianGeorge

      Sadly for the American people residing in that region, you're probably right. Basic law of physics is that things never ever go away...they just take different forms...in this case TOXIC FORMS!

      August 17, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Oh yeah? I heard it was a million feet, where are you getting your info from? The corner drug store?

      August 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ocean Chemist

      We did not sea that where we sampled.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    Wait a few weeks and this report will mysteriously "go away"

    More of the transparent policies we live with today....

    August 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanadianGeorge

      Transparent Policies? Welcome to Canada where there is no such thing in Govt'....at least in the USA your citizens have some guts to oppose bad legislation and bad government....up North here, we're just sheep being led to slaughter!

      August 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Serge

      Canadian George, You are either American or a complete idiot. 20 years ago I would have agreed with you, now, our system up here works just fine. Move away if you don't like it.
      I love America but since politics in the U.S. because which side you were on and defending that side, people have lost focus on the issues. To sit here and bash Canada and say our people are being led to the slaughterhouse..... ummmm all of our banks work, we came out of the recession first in the world ect ect ect.
      I am guessing you must not real much. Stop making my home look like a crap with no real reality to your statement. You sound like a child that did not get it's way. Maybe we are lucky our government did so little for you, maybe if there were more like you Canada would not be in as good of a position as it is.

      POS's like you are the reason Americans know all the wrong things about Canada. You should see how many are suprised we can purchse private insurance.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. George

    It is amazing how many people in the US did not pass 8th grade science.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Earthling

      Right. The environmental impact of an oil spill are obviously part of an 8th grade science curriculum.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Serge

      If you look above he obviously just added Canadian to his name to make another dumb comment..... what a tool!

      August 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Les

      This oil could not have all disappeared that quick. I believe that dispersant broke it down to some toxic compunds and some of it settled to the ocean floor. That is what is poisoning the microorganisms!!! The bottom feeders will be affected first and it will spread upwards through the food chain.
      The idea that BP and the EPA a week ago said that all the oil had pretty much disappeared and that exact amount %'s were quoted was laughable. Another huge corporate/ government cover up!!! We as citizens seem to be complacent with this continual lying and this has got to change!!

      August 17, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ronald

    One thing I'd like to know is, the actual ratio of oil to the amount of water in the gulf. Is it like a drop in an olympic size swimming pool? Or 8 ounces in the bath tub? The media has never addressed it, and the reason I believe is, it would not be as sensational as they make it seem. I just don't believe it is as catastrophic as the media would have us believe. I'm not saying it wasn't a bad thing, just saying if it's put in context it is not the catastrophe the media portrays it as.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreddieBoy

      Are you willing to let your child or significant other eat fish caught straight out of the Gulf?

      August 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reythia

      You're right: it's hard to find such numbers. I do know it's not a huge percentage - you can't visibly see it in the water, though you can measure the oil chemically (in affected regions).

      The trouble is, it's likely to concentrate in living beings, as slightly-affected microscopic organisms are eaten by progressively larger and larger critters. Which means that even though the oil-to-water-molecule ratio is tiny, it's still dangerous.

      August 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan in Texas

      The Mississippi River on average discharges 450,000 cu ft/sec. That's 3.3 million gallons per second. So the oil spill (total) put out as much as the river does in 1.5 minutes. That's just the water coming in from the river. The Gulf holds 660 quadrillion gallons of water. The oil spilled would be around 1 part per TRILLION.

      August 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ocean Chemist

      Depends on where you sample. there are a lot of subsurface currents in that area that are pretty strong. so in some areas it's pretty dilute, in others not as much. there were samples taken in recent cruises to try to determine the concentration is some sections of the plume.

      August 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CanadianGeorge

    Obviously, a high-roller like Obama did not see this one coming! Science 101 should be mandatory for all Presidents....even Palin, if only she could pass the course minimum! Now, that would really be a 'stretch'.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
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