A 22-Mile Plume of Oil Has Gone Missing in the Gulf

Photo: Getty Images

After reports earlier this month that the oil spill was essentially under control, it appears things may not be quite so rosy. Scientists reported Thursday that a 22-mile-long “invisible mist” of oil is hiding somewhere far below the surface of the Gulf, where it will likely linger for “months or more.” The researchers identified the 1.2-mile-wide plume about 3,000 feet below the surface in June, but aren’t sure where it went after Hurricane Alex (so hard to keep track of all those 22-mile-long plumes traipsing about!). Because they’re not sure how toxic this evasive mist is, the severity of its threat to wildlife is unclear. Also troublesome: This plume is breaking down at an extremely slow pace, which could make the damage more drastic.

Major study charts long-lasting oil plume in Gulf [AP via Miami Herald]