You know when you drop some food on the kitchen floor, and eventually the cockroaches eat it all up and there’s nothing left? The same thing is happening in the crisis-hit Gulf of Mexico, with bacteria chomping up the hydrocarbons.
The oil-eating bacteria, many of the Alcanivorax variety, are currently gorging themselves on the hydrocarbons accidentally pumped into the ocean, with a group of scientists believing they’re detected twice as many of the oil-consuming lifeforms living within the plume of pollution as outside it in the neighbouring sea.
In total, 16 groups of hydrocarbon-digesting bacteria were found in the crude cloud, selflessly gorging themselves at BP’s all-you-can-eat buffet for the good of mankind. [Discover]