Research Discoveries From the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill

Smithsonian Ocean Portal

It's been over a decade since the oil drilling rig "Deepwater Horizon" burst into flames and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.

For more than three months, 134 million gallons of oil flowed freely into the sea, before engineers were finally able to cap the well. The spill polluted 1,300 miles of coastline across five states and killed thousands of marine mammals, shore birds, and sea turtles. It remains the largest marine oil spill of all time, and one of the greatest environmental disasters in U.S. history.

But, since the spill in 2010, scientists with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative have been studying the fate and ecological impact of the oil, and, in doing so have made significant scientific discoveries beyond the spill itself.

This video explores three of those projects and their discoveries.