A researcher captured this image. A discarded flag (or one that has fallen from one of the many vessels in the area) rests on the ocean floor amid the oil and the bodies of dead crabs.
A two-inch layer of submerged oil is coating portions of the Gulf seafloor off the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge: a week after a smothering layer of floating crude washed ashore there. This scenario is being played out all along the Gulf shoreline.
Collecting in pockets and troughs in waist-deep water, the underwater oil is looser and stickier than the tarballs that cover the beach. The consistency is more like a thick liquid, albeit one made up of thousands of small globs. Unlike tarballs, which can often be picked up out of the water without staining the fingers, the submerged oil stains everything that it touches. If you passed your hand through the material it would emerge covered in oily smears.
There are a number of patches of submerged oil 40 to 100 feet off the beach, apparently collecting along rip currents and sandbars. The carcasses of sand fleas, speckled crabs, ghost crabs, and leopard crabs are spread throughout the oil, a thick layer of the material caking the bodies of the larger crabs - their claws looking as if they been turned into clubs made of oil.
And Washington's Blog raises an excellent question:
It's the largest environmental disaster in U.S. - and possibly world - history... But do you know exactly where it is? Could you point to a map and show where the oil rig sank?
Do you know what the topography of the surrounding area is?
Hint: If you think it's flat seafloor - as implied by BPs drawings - you'd be wrong (the spill site is actually located within a giant canyon system, rather than on flat ground).
...Some oil industry professionals are worried that a landslide at the spill site could make the oil spill much worse by carrying away the blowout preventer, riser and all other equipment. While I have no idea how likely it is that a landslide could occur before the well is capped, it is true that:
(1) The spill site is located in a steep canyon, as discussed above;
(2) There are hundreds of feet of loose mud and muck on top of the sea floor in this area; and
(3) Many deepwater, oil-rich areas within the Gulf are tectonically active.
Meanwhile, the President continues campaigning, golfing, undermining border security, bankrupting the country and -- to put it bluntly -- doing everything except what the American people expect of a Commander-in-Chief.
Hat tips: Washington's Blog and Alex Kearns.