The site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill appears silent as 6,000 feet below sea level, the seafloor appears all-but-lifeless presenting an eerie, oil-coated wasteland populated largely by tumor-laden nightmare crustaceans.
Atlas Obscura reports that video footage from a 2017 expedition was recently released and provides a hellish glimpse of the seafloor that confirms worst suspicion of scientists. The Gulf of Mexico is still far from improved from the catastrophic 2010 oil spill and is now evident that the area may even have suffered permanent devastation.
"It was like visiting a graveyard. There were even slimey “webs” at the seabed that looked like cobwebs. It was the only time I’ve been in a submarine along the seabed and found myself sad and dreading what was coming next.”- UGA's @SeepExplorer https://t.co/JBQ4hdYmol
— UGA (@universityofga) September 25, 2019
The expedition, described in a research published in the journal Royal Society Open Science last month, revealed that the spill site remains bereft of life. Only exceptions are crabs and shrimps with missing limbs and swollen claws, swollen by tumors and caked in parasites.
Clifton Nunnally of the Louisiana University Marine Consortium, one of the researchers behind the research, told Atlas Obscura, “Nothing prepared us for what we saw. Everywhere there were crabs just kicking up black plumes of mud, laden with oil. There were deformities, but mostly things were missing.”
Scientists told Atlas Obscura that the spilled oil contains compounds that occur naturally on a crab’s body, so the profusion in the spill zone attracts the poor creatures who end up absorbing appalling amounts of toxins and mutate horribly.
Nunnally told Atlas Obscura, “They’re attracted to the oil site, but everything goes downhill for them once they’re in the area”.