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Oil spill damaged octocoral

A brittle star sits in the middle of a deep sea octocoral that is damaged from a nearby oil spill
Fanny Girard

Shortly after the Deepwater Horizons oil spill of 2010, this photo shows a damaged deep water octocoral and its symbiotic brittle star. The stars play an important role in helping the coral recover from the smothering "floc", an oil based substance that rains from above.