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Oil Spills: Sad But True

Imagine you’re a killer whale. You’re swimming round when you decide to stick your head out of the water to take a breath. When you do, you see a large stream of thick black oil heading your way. You go back underwater only to find other animals dying because the oil is damaging their bodies. This is the way some animals die in the ocean – because of an oil spill in their habitat.

What’s an oil spill?

Oil spills happen when people make mistakes or are careless and cause an oil tanker (a ship that carries oil from one country or place to another) to leak oil into the ocean. Or, when countries are at war, one may decide to dump gallons of oil into the other country’s oceans.

A leaking oil tanker causes an oil spill in the oceanA leaking oil tanker causes an oil spill in the ocean

Illegal dumpers dump crude oil into the ocean because they don’t want to spend money on decomposing their waste oil. This is illegal. Natural disasters (like hurricanes) may cause an oil spill, too, by flipping an oil tanker over, causing oil to come pouring out. But don’t be fooled: mostly, oil spills are caused by humans.

How do oil spills affect animals?

Birds die from oil spills if their feathers are covered in oil. When they try to clean their feathers, they’re poisoned. Animals may die because they get hypothermia, causing their body temperature to be really low. Oil can also enter an animal’s lungs or liver, poisoning it from the inside. Oil also blinds animals when it gets into their eyes, so they can no longer watch out for predators.

Sea birds get poisoned by oil spillsSea birds get poisoned by oil spills

Sea otters’ bodies may get covered in oil, which causes buildup in the air bubbles located in their fur, which are specially designed to help them survive the cold oceans and help them to float. When oil builds up in the air bubbles, the otters may die of low body temperature.

These two sea otters are covered in oil from a spillThese two sea otters are covered in oil from a spill

Oil spills are also a major reason that killer whales are endangered. The oil may be eaten or enter the whale’s blowhole. A blowhole is a hole to help them breath. Whales will rise up over the water to take a breath. If the blowhole is plugged with oil, the whale can’t breathe! Or, if a whale eats a fish that swam through oil, it will be poisoned and then die.

All the animals in the ocean

Many people don’t realize all the creatures in the ocean that oil spills affect. Plankton, larval fish and bottom-dwelling organisms, and even seaweed, clams, oysters and mussels can be affected by oil spills. When hundreds of plankton die because of oil, fish don’t have enough food to eat, which will cause them to die. If the fish die, there won’t be enough food for whales, and they will die, too. As you can see, oil spills can damage the entire food chain in one blow.

Seals that swim in the ocean are killed by oil spillsSeals that swim in the ocean are killed by oil spills

Helping animals after a spill

There are many ways that animals are cleaned up after an oil spill. When birds arrive at a cleaning center, the oil is flushed from their eyes and intestines and they’re examined for broken bones, cuts and other injuries. Next, they get a stomach-coating medicine to prevent any more oil from entering their systems. They are then warmed and placed in a quiet area where they’re fed and kept safe until they are healthy enough to be returned to the wild.

Cleaning a sea bird affected by an oil spillCleaning a sea bird affected by an oil spill

When sea otters are taken to a cleaning facility, they’re washed with warm water to (hopefully) break down the oil and warm the otters up. The otters also get medical treatment while they are being cleaned. After their fur is dry, they have to stay a few more days so the workers are sure of no diseases or broken bones.

Cleaning a sea otter affected by an oil spillCleaning a sea otter affected by an oil spill

Helping and saving sea life today

Have you ever stopped to think what you use oil for? Everyone uses oil a lot. The whole world uses nearly three billion gallons of oil every day to fuel our cars, trucks buses, and even to heat our homes. If you have touched a chain on a bicycle, you have touched some oil. The black stuff that appears on your fingers is oil that makes the chains on your bike run smoothly. We use oil to make asphalt to pave our roads and highways. Oil is also made into plastics, which in turn are used to make your toys, games and MP# players. Oil is also used in medicines, ink, paints and to create some electricity.

We can all help stop oil spills from occurring. If you use less oil, then less will have to be transported by tanker across the ocean. How can you use less oil? Leave your car at home and walk or ride a bike instead. Something a city can do is decide to pave its roads with cement instead of asphalt – cement does not use oil the way asphalt does.

Save energy, save oil, prevent oil spillsSave energy, save oil, prevent oil spills

Think about how many lights you have in your house, as well as all the electronics like computers or TVs. All of these things use electricity. If we all were to turn off lights, computers and televisions when we’re not using them, we wouldn’t be using as mush oil to create the electricity throughout the house. If everyone around the world decided to use less oil, we would lower the risk of a large spill, like the one that recently happened in the Gulf of Mexico.

Video: Oil Spill

 

Have Your Say

If this story makes you sad, do something about it! Do you have any ideas on how we can prevent another big oil spill from happening, and how we can use less oil in our everyday lives? Sound off in the Comments section below!

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Penalty When Companies Spill Oil?

  • Heavy fines - big bucks.
  • Lock em up and throw away the key.
  • Forgive and forget - cuz what's the big deal?
  • The CEO's should be forced to swim naked through oil.

General In The Forums

CaptJolee
CaptJolee posted in Random:
sadly nope :P
reply about 3 hours
Tomboy_
Kaitlyn Age: 12  Bio: he was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her mother, Jessica Cadice was truly a woman with a heart of gold. while her husband, Anderson, a secret agent working for the English Spies Association. They own a Modern mansion in england.  Kaitlyn in the story, is explained with her personality and relationship with the butler, cook, maid, and others. Chapter 1  Kate was a girl of 12 years old. Kaitlyn, her name to be prefered, Woke up in the middle of the night. sweeping her covers to the side, she stepped out of bed, opening her window to breathe the fresh night air. Contrary to what she expected, the air was misty and very musty. She covered her nose. "In england, why must we be inside clouds at 1 am?  Kaitlyn went downstairs of the blackwell mansion. Her silk slippers made a rough sound over the dark grey carpet on the balcony. Looking over to the kitchen. She smells A fresh Peach pie. She automatically knew who made it. Mr. Baxster, the butler, loved pies. He owned a shop 1 street corner away from the mansion. Kaitlyn went down stairs to find the cook, Miss Laquel, obviously making a variety of pies. Pies scattered everywhere, Kaitlyn scratched her head. Why would mss Laquel make this many cakes at 1 am?   Chapter 2 Kaitlyn decided to investigate the scene. She heard her father talking about "investigating a scene" one time. She Looked for Any clues. She found a Silk blue notebook with a lock on it. She suspected Miss Laque had the key. Nonetheless, It was probably important, so she Hid it in the kitchen cupboard behind the stinky cheese spices. Dad never used them. Mom said they were taking up space. Dad always said he'll get rid of them soon. "Soon=Never. What a waste." She said, holding her nose. She opened one pie. "Ugh! What a horrible smell!" She screamed. The cook rubbed her eyes. "Huh? Who.. Nevermind. Now the pies. " Where was Kaitlyn? Hiding in the window curtain. "Mr. Baxster will LOVE these Pie samples for his bakery." She said in a suggestively Happy voice. She ran upstairs to her room to get dressed, after putting the pies To rest in her Home-sewed bag. She put the two samples of the stinky pie in the mouse trap. And then, she put the rest in the garden. Kaitlyn peeked out of the curtain. She held it up to make her way into the living room. "Roses eat pie?" She looked at the plants. "Ahh. Fertilizer Pie. Bón Appetit, flowers."   Chapter 3 Looking at the flowers covered in fertilizer, she realised she was wasting time. The clock said  I:oII which mother taught her was 1:02 am. She decided to catch up on sleep. It was to early to be awake. She ran up the stair to her bedroom. She ockked the door. tHen she realised.. Her bedroom balcony had been open. There were no signs or anyone in in the home. "Oh, it must be the wind" She shrugged . Which was quite reasonable because this wind was stronger than a mountain lion. Particularly tonight.  She put her robe on and made her way to the castle-like balcony. "What a dark night. Starry, beautiful" She lay there, on the balcony. "What a-" *yawn* She fell asleep on the balcony.
reply about 12 hours
SnowflakeAngelKitten
As I said, what you think is entirely up to you. I think soon I'll make a story saying my self-confidence. :rainbow
reply 1 day
heckinmemes
i have a feeling it's bad that i think your life is great compared to mine
reply 1 day
Eri-Prime
"SnowflakeAngelKitten" wrote: Lot's of people in my life know that I'm energetic, usually happy, I fangirl a lot, and I have a smile all the time. But do you really think my life is only like that? Well, let me enlighten you on my struggles. During school: 6:00 A.M. Wake up 7:15 A.M. Be ready to leave 7:30 A.M. Go to school and be chided about my forgetfulness 7:35 A.M. Get on the bus 7:36 - 8:10 A.M. Get by when everyone around me made me feel overly uncomfortable 8:15 A.M. Go to locker Some time after locker time - 8:29 A.M. Get stressed out by guys in my class that antagonize me 8:30 A.M. - 3:15 P.M. Get by with everyone giving me drama I do  not want in my life 3:16 P.M. Go and get on the bus Time on the bus - 3:30 P.M. Feel uncomfortable with end-of-the-day action 3:31 P.M. Go home to start on homework Time afterwards Be bombarded with responsibilities that are hard to keep up with 9:00 P.M. Go to sleep During Summer: Wake up Take a shower Get breakfast Read Role-play Dinner Watch NCIS Role-play From waking up - Role-play Session #2 Have brothers and dad that keep on giving me stress Have older brother tell me about every single terrible thing that is worth discriminating me about Go to bed Have an insane and weird dream As you can see, I have daily struggles. Here are what keeps me with a smile and a happy attitude: Have a love for being around others Reading Role-playing Fangirling Optimism Easily humored This is my life. Whether or not you think that it's worth sharing is up to you. Just wanting to let y'all know. Have a great day! Wow, what a life. Hope you don't get stressed out anymore! 5.00: Wake up 6.00: School 7.15: Locker, chat with my pals(girls) and buddies(boys). 7:30: Super talkative class. 8.00: FUN! Awesome teachers, except for my math teacher. (He is terrifying) 9.30: Recess and get your phone confiscated. Woooo. 10:00: back to class. Urgh. 3.00: HOME SWEET HOME! Get jumped on by a dog and greeted by a cat. 4:00: Finally get the dog of me. 4.15:homework with a cat on my lap. 5.00_7.00: Blog, forums, hang out, walk the dog with my buddies. 10.00: sleep *Fireflies plays in background* Yeah, that's my 'boring' life.
reply 1 day