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Anemone On Deep Sea Coral

A brown-colored deep-sea coral sits on the deep ocean floor and is covered with brown oil floc.
Courtesy Charles Fisher

Deep-sea corals miles away from the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 were impacted by the plumes. One affected site was 13.7 miles (22 km) away from the Macondo wellhead—the farthest observed—and extremely deep, more than 6,000 feet (1,875 meters) below the surface. This is deeper than any of the reported oil plumes that resulted from the spill. How did oil get down there? Read more about the search for oil impacts on the deep sea by Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative scientists.