BP oil spill: The ‘horribly mutated’ creatures living in the Gulf
Fish, shrimp, and crabs are missing eyes and suffering strange deformities, according to a harrowing new report — yet the FDA insists the seafood’s safe to eat
Shrimp born without eyes, clawless crabs, and fish with visible tumors are among the “horribly mutated” marine animals found in the waters off the Gulf Coast, according to a new report from Al Jazeera. Scientists say the problem is a side effect of the April 2010 explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which killed 11 people and spilled at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean. Here, a brief guide to the damage:
Is it just the oil that caused mutations?
No. Also to blame are the nearly 2 million gallons of chemical dispersants, such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol, used for the subsequent clean-up. The solvents used in the aftermath of the spill, long known to be “mutagenic,” are powerful enough to dissolve oil, grease, and rubber, says Casey Chan at Gizmodo. That’s great for sopping up oil, “but terrible for the environment.”