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New Batfish Species Found Under Gulf Oil Spill

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the had-to-flush-'em-out-somehow dept.

Earth 226

eDarwin writes "Researchers have discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish in the Gulf of Mexico, living right in the area affected by the BP oil spill. Researchers identified new species of pancake batfishes, a flat fish rarely seen because of the dark depths they favor. They are named for the clumsy way they 'walk' along the sea bottom, like a bat crawling."

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226 comments

They don't walk any more (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844374)

They kind of glide across the surface now.

Re:They don't walk any more (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844672)

Also, these recently discovered species are now extinct. Thanks BP.

Hmmm (0, Redundant)

Widowwolf (779548) | about 4 years ago | (#32844382)

This was news like 2-3 weeks ago

Re:Hmmm (2)

WitnessForTheOffense (1669778) | about 4 years ago | (#32844558)

This was news like 2-3 weeks ago

Your observation, however, hasn't been relevant at any point in history.

Correlation v. Causation (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 years ago | (#32844396)

They're ugly, look crippled, and found in only one place in the world -- an oil spill.

Gentlemen, to your conspiracies!

Re:Correlation v. Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844406)

Eco warriors caused the spill on purpose to get funding to explore the deep for new marine life!

Re:Correlation v. Causation (2, Informative)

overlordofmu (1422163) | about 4 years ago | (#32844524)

The aliens caused the oil spill to increase the number of oil covered animals, which while totally inedible to them, are a source of great comfort to them.

You haven't see cute until you have seen an Alterian cuddling a rotting, oil-covered pelican corpse like a teddy bear.

Re:Correlation v. Causation (1)

Itninja (937614) | about 4 years ago | (#32844560)

They're ugly, look crippled, and found in only one place in the world -- an oil spill.

It's true. There are a lot of BP Execs involved ~rimshot

And the old saw applies here (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 4 years ago | (#32844408)

What's the difference between a pancake batfish and Tony Hayward?

One's a scum-sucking bottom-feeder, and the other's a fish.

Re:And the old saw applies here (-1, Flamebait)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#32844688)

Wow, the demonization of Tony Hayward is complete. Why don't you start spreading some wrong information that he's a pedophile to add the icing on the cake?

I mean seriously, what did this guy do or fail to do? The way I see it the whole disaster would not have happened if Halliburton didn't fuck up the cementing and that other company didn't fuck up the failsafe mechanism.

Re:And the old saw applies here (2, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | about 4 years ago | (#32844708)

I'm inclined to agree; while he is responsible for the pressure that eventually trickled down the management chain resulting in the cost-cutting measures leading to the spill, he bears no personal responsibility. That lies with the management in charge of the well.

Re:And the old saw applies here (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 years ago | (#32845292)

while he is responsible for the pressure that eventually trickled down the management chain resulting in the cost-cutting measures leading to the spill, he bears no personal responsibility

This, here, is the problem with capitalism.

Re:And the old saw applies here (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 years ago | (#32844730)

I mean seriously, what did this guy do or fail to do?

Lead and instill a culture of safety and accountability in a company with a history of dangerous cost cutting.

Re:And the old saw applies here (4, Interesting)

Bakkster (1529253) | about 4 years ago | (#32844778)

I mean seriously, what did this guy do or fail to do?

Lead and instill a culture of safety and accountability in a company with a history of dangerous cost cutting.

He also produced some of the most incredible PR gaffes in recent memory. It's easy to hate someone when they're wholly unlikeable.

Re:And the old saw applies here (1)

no1home (1271260) | about 4 years ago | (#32844810)

And today, I have no points to give. Damn.

That is EXACTLY the correct call on this one. As a leader, one can, and should, instill both fiscal AND safety responsibility.

Re:And the old saw applies here (4, Insightful)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 4 years ago | (#32844828)

what did this guy do or fail to do?

How about spending a tiny bit of the $5.5B in profits each quarter on R&D for oil spill containment and cleanup? I guess that would have been too much to ask.

Re:And the old saw applies here (1, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#32844888)

Are you saying then spent none? Becuase I followed the timeline and they already had like 5 different things to try within days of it happening. The problem is they should not have been forced to drill so deeply in the first place. Drilling in shallower water is MUCH safer although more politically incorrect.

Re:And the old saw applies here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32845058)

Are you saying then spent none? Becuase I followed the timeline and they already had like 5 different things to try within days of it happening. The problem is they should not have been forced to drill so deeply in the first place. Drilling in shallower water is MUCH safer although more politically incorrect.

aww poor oil companies ;____________;

dumbshit

Re:And the old saw applies here (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32845066)

Bullshit!
Drilling in shallower water is done all the time, but costs money in loss of tourism and only works if that reservoir is not already tapped. No one cares how politically incorrect something is if it makes money.

Re:And the old saw applies here (0, Troll)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#32845264)

Also this... http://dcm2.enr.state.nc.us/facts/offshore.htm [state.nc.us]

3-200 miles offshore drilling was already banned in many areas except for existing wells.

Re:And the old saw applies here (4, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | about 4 years ago | (#32845094)

I followed the timeline and they already had like 5 different things to try within days of it happening.

That is just plain untrue.

April 22 - The Deepwater Horizon rig, valued at more than $560 million, sinks and a 5-mile-long (8 km) oil slick forms.
April 25 - Efforts to activate the well's blowout preventer fail. [It took them THREE DAYS to realize they had completely forgotten to maintain the main component intended to prevent the blowout]
May 7 - An attempt to place a containment dome over the spewing well fails when the device is rendered useless by frozen hydrocarbons that clogged it [this was not days later, it was over TWO WEEKS LATER]
May 16 - BP inserts a tube into the leaking riser pile of the well and captures some oil and gas.
May 26 - A "top kill" maneuver starts, involving pumping heavy fluids and other material into the well shaft to try to stifle the flow. [Already over a month later!]
June 2 - BP tries another capping strategy but has difficulty cutting off a leaking riser pipe. [etc]

So "within days" they had done one thing, which is to try to manually activate a device that didn't automatically activate because it "had a dead battery in its control pod, leaks in its hydraulic system, a "useless" test version of a key component and a cutting tool that wasn't strong enough to shear through steel joints in the well pipe and stop the flow of oil.".

Wow, yeah, sounds like they sure spent big bucks on R&D and maintenance there...

Re:And the old saw applies here (3, Insightful)

RSCruiser (968696) | about 4 years ago | (#32845126)

Of course drilling in shallower water is safer. The problem is we've already exhausted a large number of those reserves, forcing deep water drilling.

The reason they had 5 different things to try so quickly is because they were all tried way back during the Ixtoc spill. The ideas weren't new. The problems arise when you consider they're now under a mile of water instead of a few hundred feet.

Its a fairly safe assumption that BP (and other companies) have spent nothing on containment research given the rehashing of Ixtoc containment and the on-the-fly engineering that has happened since the spill started.

Re:And the old saw applies here (1)

Nathanbp (599369) | about 4 years ago | (#32845242)

Are you saying then spent none? Becuase I followed the timeline and they already had like 5 different things to try within days of it happening. The problem is they should not have been forced to drill so deeply in the first place. Drilling in shallower water is MUCH safer although more politically incorrect.

Yeah, it's so much safer that the last major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico [wikipedia.org] was in 50 meters of water and took 10 months to stop.

Re:And the old saw applies here (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 4 years ago | (#32845344)

That's right. BP spent $0.00 on R&D for containment and cleanup contingencies prior to the disaster. In any other business, having no DR plan would get a CEO fired.

I got the distinct impression that Ol' Tony didn't give a damn about us "little people" and his biggest issue with the oil spill was that it was keeping him from "getting his life back".

Re:And the old saw applies here (4, Informative)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 4 years ago | (#32845436)

Oh, you mean all the same things they tried with Ixtoc I, 30 years ago, which also didn't work then?

Yeah, that's some real R&D there. Well done.

Re:And the old saw applies here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32845342)

And where exactly is the money paid to the US government since the Exxon Valdez which was supposed to be set aside to clean up such messes? Where is the action of the US Government as prescribed by law to nationalize such clean up measures? Where exactly is the EPA doing its part to allow mitigation along the Louisiana coast? And just where exactly are the people in the US government who approved of BP's plans, processes, and procedures, which lead up to this mess?

If you are going to point fingers, point all of them in the correct places.

Re:And the old saw applies here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32845360)

He spent the minimum that the regulators required of him and maximised profits for his shareholders. Isn't that Capitalism in action? Isn't that the American dream?
The only reason this is a story is because it is happening to the USA. If it was anywhere else there would be talk of "lessons learned" and some token payment to those devastated by it (I give you "Union Carbide" as but one example). It's not like the USA has a good record on the environment, still sending their PCs to be dismantled by child labour without any care of the damage to the land and the people (there's even an international treaty on that, care to guess one of the two-faced countries that hasn't ratified it?).
There's no doubt it's an environmental disaster, but to lay the blame at the feet of BP is naive in the extreme. Where is the criticism of the USA government? Halliburton (the contractors who blew the well)? And so on. Oh, wait...they're AMERICAN so they can never be wrong!

Re:And the old saw applies here (1)

Monchanger (637670) | about 4 years ago | (#32844908)

They didn't. They called him a name which while perhaps harsh, isn't defamatory. You're being unfair comparing the two.

What he did or didn't do may be a matter of perspective considering public opinion could matter a lot in this case.

You could sit in the crowd which holds that corporate executives should not be liable for anything, that there's nothing wrong with acting solely in the interest of shareholders or golden parachutes. That sounds like you.

Or you could be one of the people who expect the chief executive to be responsible for everything happening under him, and that accusing subcontractors is the act of a weasel who draws an outrageous salary while having no actual responsibility. That'd be me and probably dkleinsc.

Hayward's been his own worst enemy here. For enjoying his position, for not taking responsibility, and for making an ass of himself on camera.

Re:And the old saw applies here (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 years ago | (#32844970)

I mean seriously, what did this guy do or fail to do?

He needs to take his head out of his ass.

How about playing golf on the weekend when he needs his life back?

Playing sailor boy on a yacht while fishers on the Gulf are stranded . . . just adds insult to injury.

Someone with his level of pay should know better. I need that on my resume "Hey, I destroyed 2 Billion $ in wealth during my leadership of the company . . ."

Or he is just an arrogant, royal fucking dickhead.

Where's my Roger Mellies' Profanisourus when I need some utterly vulgar English curse words?

Tony Hayward is a pedophile? (1)

mangu (126918) | about 4 years ago | (#32844978)

Why don't you start spreading some wrong information that he's a pedophile to add the icing on the cake?

Oh, so he's a pedophile? I knew it! Has he denied it? No? Then it must be true.

Re:And the old saw applies here (1)

SpongeBob Hitler (1848328) | about 4 years ago | (#32845192)

Wow, the demonization of Tony Hayward is complete. Why don't you start spreading some wrong information that he's a pedophile to add the icing on the cake? I mean seriously, what did this guy do or fail to do? The way I see it the whole disaster would not have happened if Halliburton didn't fuck up the cementing and that other company didn't fuck up the failsafe mechanism.

I thought he raped and murdered an 11 year-old girl in 1990? Or, was that Glenn Beck? Or both?

Anyway, it wouldn't surprise me. People at his level think that laws only apply to us "little people".

Re:And the old saw applies here (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32845322)

It's easier to make these things about villians and heros than it is to delve into the sticky and complicated issues as they exist in the real world. Check out this article [independent.co.uk] for some interesting facts about the rig,

There were 126 people working on the Deepwater Horizon rig, yet no more than eight of them were BP employees. Some 79 worked for Transocean, the firm that owned and operated the rig. A further 41 worked for contractors such as Anadarko Petroleum Corp, a BP partner on the well. BP had 65 per cent of it, Anadarko 25 per cent and Mitsui Oil Exploration 10 per cent. There was also a firm called M-I Swaco, a contractor providing mud-engineering services on the rig, two of whose workers were among the 11 killed. Halliburton, Dick Cheney's former company, had four staff on the rig, and was responsible for "cementing" on the sea bed. Another firm, ironically called Cameron International, supplied the rig's blowout preventer valves, which, as it happened, prevented no such thing.

Further, the New York Times ran a great story [nytimes.com] examining the technology at work. It makes for some head-smack-inducing reading. It includes such gems as
 

blowout preventers used by deepwater rigs had a “failure” rate of 45 percent.

BP and other oil companies helped finance a study early this year arguing that blowout preventer pressure tests conducted every 14 days should be stretched out to every 35 days. The industry estimated the change could save $193 million a year in lost productivity. The study found that blowout preventers almost always passed the required government tests — there were only 62 failures out of nearly 90,000 tests conducted over several years — but it also raised questions about the effectiveness of these tests.

As with BP, the rig’s owner, Transocean, was aware of the vulnerabilities and limitations of blowout preventers.
But they were not the only ones.
The Minerals Management Service knew the problems, too. In fact, the agency helped pay for many of the studies that warned of their shortcomings, including those in 2002 and 2004 that raised doubts about the ability of blind shear rams to cut pipe under real-world conditions.

approved BP’s permit without requiring proof that its blowout preventer could shear pipe and seal a well 5,000 feet down...Mr. Patton said he had approved hundreds of other well permits in the gulf without requiring this proof, and BP likewise contends that companies have never been asked to furnish this proof on drilling applications.

As part of its assessment of the blowout preventer, Transocean hired West Engineering, which had a checklist of more than 250 components and systems to examine. It did not perform 72 of them, mostly for a simple reason: at the time, the Deepwater Horizon was operating in the Gulf of Mexico, and the blowout preventer was on the seafloor and therefore inaccessible.

According to a West Engineering document, one of those 72 items was verifying that the blowout preventer could shear drill pipe and seal off wells in deepwater. This checkup appears to be the last time an independent expert was asked to perform a comprehensive examination of the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer.

The list goes on and on, a litany of errors from everyone involved.

Re:And the old saw applies here (2, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | about 4 years ago | (#32845356)

It's easier to make these things about villians and heros than it is to delve into the sticky and complicated issues as they exist in the real world. Check out this article [independent.co.uk] for some interesting facts about the rig,

There were 126 people working on the Deepwater Horizon rig, yet no more than eight of them were BP employees. Some 79 worked for Transocean, the firm that owned and operated the rig. A further 41 worked for contractors such as Anadarko Petroleum Corp, a BP partner on the well. BP had 65 per cent of it, Anadarko 25 per cent and Mitsui Oil Exploration 10 per cent. There was also a firm called M-I Swaco, a contractor providing mud-engineering services on the rig, two of whose workers were among the 11 killed. Halliburton, Dick Cheney's former company, had four staff on the rig, and was responsible for "cementing" on the sea bed. Another firm, ironically called Cameron International, supplied the rig's blowout preventer valves, which, as it happened, prevented no such thing.

Further, the New York Times ran a great story [nytimes.com] examining the technology at work. It makes for some head-smack-inducing reading. It includes such gems as

blowout preventers used by deepwater rigs had a “failure” rate of 45 percent.

BP and other oil companies helped finance a study early this year arguing that blowout preventer pressure tests conducted every 14 days should be stretched out to every 35 days. The industry estimated the change could save $193 million a year in lost productivity. The study found that blowout preventers almost always passed the required government tests — there were only 62 failures out of nearly 90,000 tests conducted over several years — but it also raised questions about the effectiveness of these tests.

As with BP, the rig’s owner, Transocean, was aware of the vulnerabilities and limitations of blowout preventers. But they were not the only ones. The Minerals Management Service knew the problems, too. In fact, the agency helped pay for many of the studies that warned of their shortcomings, including those in 2002 and 2004 that raised doubts about the ability of blind shear rams to cut pipe under real-world conditions.

approved BP’s permit without requiring proof that its blowout preventer could shear pipe and seal a well 5,000 feet down...Mr. Patton said he had approved hundreds of other well permits in the gulf without requiring this proof, and BP likewise contends that companies have never been asked to furnish this proof on drilling applications.

As part of its assessment of the blowout preventer, Transocean hired West Engineering, which had a checklist of more than 250 components and systems to examine. It did not perform 72 of them, mostly for a simple reason: at the time, the Deepwater Horizon was operating in the Gulf of Mexico, and the blowout preventer was on the seafloor and therefore inaccessible.

According to a West Engineering document, one of those 72 items was verifying that the blowout preventer could shear drill pipe and seal off wells in deepwater. This checkup appears to be the last time an independent expert was asked to perform a comprehensive examination of the Deepwater Horizon’s blowout preventer.

The list goes on and on, a litany of errors from everyone involved.

Batfish? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844410)

Hmmmm.....how do they taste, breaded and fried?

Re:Batfish? (5, Funny)

unix1 (1667411) | about 4 years ago | (#32844436)

Hmmmm.....how do they taste, breaded and fried?

Oily.

Re:Batfish? (2, Funny)

drewhk (1744562) | about 4 years ago | (#32844446)

At least you do not need additional oil to fry them.

Re:Batfish? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#32844724)

If cook them too long under the right temperature the volatile distillates will combust rather quickly and give you blacked batfish. Ahahahahaha..

That's a joke that only the Slashdot crowd would and if you tell it at a party, a party that has cute girls, you will just get vacant stares - unless there's a petroleum engineer in the crowd. Nah, that won't happen.

Re:Batfish? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844850)

This is only because your joke isn't funny.

Re:Batfish? (1)

drewhk (1744562) | about 4 years ago | (#32844854)

"That's a joke that only the Slashdot crowd would and if you tell it at a party, a party that has cute girls. Nah, that won't happen."

Fixed that for you.

Re:Batfish? (1)

ArcadeNut (85398) | about 4 years ago | (#32844922)

I prefer them Battered

noscript users... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844470)

wondering where the pictures is...

http://img.ibtimes.com/www/data/images/full/2010/07/08/13866-batfish.jpg [ibtimes.com]

Re:noscript users... (2, Funny)

nizo (81281) | about 4 years ago | (#32844628)

Wow, they really were cool looking.

Batgirl (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844472)

Batgirl, is that you? No Robin, it's Batfish.

Re:Batgirl (1)

Shimbo (100005) | about 4 years ago | (#32844920)

Pass the oil repellent bat-spray.

All this complaining about the spill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844482)

... is drowning out the positive news like this.

Well they did live there (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32844494)

What are the odds we found out more about them just as they get wipped out?

How is BP going to fix this?

Re:Well they did live there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844522)

They'll whip out their batfish sanctuary...

Re:Well they did live there (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | about 4 years ago | (#32845070)

You mean the PanCakeBatCave?

Re:Well they did live there (4, Funny)

locallyunscene (1000523) | about 4 years ago | (#32844550)

aaaaaand it's gone.

Re:Well they did live there (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | about 4 years ago | (#32844614)

Gosh, perhaps the dozens of robots with bright lights and cameras scouring the seabed looking for a broken oil pipe can also spot fish? This is no coincidence. There's hundreds of unique species per square mile of ocean.

Re:Well they did live there (1)

Haffner (1349071) | about 4 years ago | (#32844726)

New oceanographer technique:

1. Cause devastating disaster on ocean floor. 2. Get Big Corporations to send in robots with cameras. 3. Review camera footage to discover new(ly extinct) creatures. 4. ???? 5. Profit (Obligatory)

Re:Well they did live there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844924)

4. write a paper on new(ly extinct) creatures

whoosh?

Re:Well they did live there (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32844846)

So maybe we should be a little more careful?

If we started demanding relief wells were in place before any production could begin then we could make sure these leaks do not last for months.

Re:Well they did live there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844944)

But, what happens when the relief well has a blowout? Do relief wells need relief wells? But, then what happens when there's a blowout while drilling the relief well's relief well. I'd guess that relief wells for relief wells will also need to have a relief well drilled first. This doesn't sound like it's going to end well.

Re:Well they did live there (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32845112)

I said more careful not accepting of no risk at all. Typical AC response, so senseless that you refuse to even attach an account to it.

Further more the relief well would not be finished enough to have a blow out, you might wish to educate yourself a little about how they work.

Re:Well they did live there (1)

moreati (119629) | about 4 years ago | (#32844676)

Simple, they'll erase any record of them.

Re:Well they did live there (1)

Miseph (979059) | about 4 years ago | (#32844878)

Suck it Blue!

Odds are (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 4 years ago | (#32844844)

they live below the threatened areas. Seeing that they are bottom feeders and the oil is not settling, I would say that science scored one in the middle of a disaster.

New (Soon to be Extinct) Species Found... (5, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | about 4 years ago | (#32844498)

There, fixed that for you...

and (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | about 4 years ago | (#32844512)

...and they're both now extinct. [instantrimshot.com]

Re:and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844880)

Mod parent down... Spam

Parents killed by oil spill... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844516)

Young fish becomes...

Manbat Fish!

on the subject of new species in the gulf (1)

rev_sanchez (691443) | about 4 years ago | (#32844532)

BP might pay handsomely if you could find a highly unethical biologist to identify tarballs as a new sort of petroleum-based jellyfish.

Re:on the subject of new species in the gulf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844590)

Well, I just finished coding it up. Can I distribute it as: jellyfish.tar.gz ?

FTA: (1, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | about 4 years ago | (#32844540)

The well has pumped millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf

uh... one of those things is not like the other... I question the validity of any site that thinks gallons and liters are interchangable

Re:FTA: (4, Informative)

SheeEttin (899897) | about 4 years ago | (#32844576)

Well, a gallon is ~3.79 liters (according to Google), so if there's "millions of gallons", I'd say it's pretty safe to assume there are "millions of liters" as well...

Re:FTA: (1)

Haffner (1349071) | about 4 years ago | (#32844776)

Well, if you are being precise in terms of millions/billions, then there is only a 26% chance that millions of gallons implies ONLY millions of liters, as 263.85 millions of gallons = billion of liters. And, given the odds that 1 million gallons is far less likely than, say, 50 million gallons, the odds are even higher that there are, in fact, billion(s) of liters. To get that extra s, you need 527.70 millions of gallons.

Re:FTA: (1)

vxice (1690200) | about 4 years ago | (#32844916)

Well technically a billion is a thousand million. So you would still have millions of liters even if you had billions of gallons. A great way to fudge stats, well there were only tens of safety violations. Well actually it was 300 but that is 30 ten incidents. If you really want to nitpick.

Re:FTA: (1)

publiclurker (952615) | about 4 years ago | (#32845132)

Not all countries use the word billion to indicate one thousand million.

Re:FTA: (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 years ago | (#32845406)

I would have thought a British Petroleum gallon was about 4.53 Litres

Re:FTA: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844606)

I question the validity of any site that thinks gallons and liters are interchangable

I question the validity of YOUR FACE!

Re:FTA: (1)

DIplomatic (1759914) | about 4 years ago | (#32844622)

The well has pumped millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf

uh... one of those things is not like the other... I question the validity of any site that thinks gallons and liters are interchangable

Not really. Both statements are true.
From estimates I've gathered around the web, the total amount of oil in the gulf is around 140 million gallons, or 530 million liters.
So the well has indeed pumped millions of gallons of oil and millions of liters of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Is it a huge understatement? Yes. Is it an incompetent factual error? No.

Re:FTA: (4, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | about 4 years ago | (#32844632)

"The well has pumped millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf"

uh... one of those things is not like the other... I question the validity of any site that thinks gallons and liters are interchangable

You would prefer, then, that the article said "The well has pumped millions of gallons (3,785,411.78's of liters) of oil into the Gulf"? Perhaps a review of the concept of False Precision [wikipedia.org] is in order. "A guard at a museum says a dinosaur skeleton is 70 million and six years old. He reasons that it was 70 million years old when he started working there six years ago."

This is why I dislike archaic units of measure (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32845408)

millions of gallons (3,785,411.78's of liters)

BP is british. Shouldn't that be "millions of gallons (4,546,091.88's of litres)"?

You Americans and your wacky mini-gallon.

Re:FTA: (1)

MagikSlinger (259969) | about 4 years ago | (#32844700)

. I question the validity of any site that thinks gallons and liters are interchangable

Well, liters and gallons are interchangable [google.ca] . I think you mean they aren't directly comparable because one is almost 4x the other. But it's not an order of magnitude (x10) difference, so I think they can be partially forgiven.

For their partial punishment, they will have to pay the $/gallon price for their liters of gasoline. :-)

Re:FTA: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844910)

Gallons are like liters only somewhat less metric

Re:FTA: (1)

wowbagger (69688) | about 4 years ago | (#32844982)

To help clarify some of the issues with that statement others have pointed out:

You need to keep in mind the idea of digits of precision. Were I to say "My swimming pool contains one thousand gallons of water" I have given you one digit of precision - you can legitimately say my pool contains four thousand liters of water, because you are still in one digit of precision. You CANNOT legitimately say my pool contains 3785 liters - you just pulled 3 more digits of precision out of the air.

If I say "there are millions of gallons of water in that tank" - that is less than a digit of precision, more likely an order of magnitude. So saying "there are four million liters" is wrong - you went from less than a digit of precision to one digit of precision.

Now, if I said "my pool contains 1000 gallons of water plus or minus .1 gallon" - OK, now you can get retentive and say 3785.4 liters plus or minus 0.4 liters" (since the error was only given to one digit of precision).

Re:FTA: (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32845028)

You have a very small swimming pool.

Re:FTA: (1)

mangu (126918) | about 4 years ago | (#32845010)

I question the validity of any site that thinks gallons and liters are interchangable

They are, either for very small gallons or for very large liters.

Re:FTA: (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 4 years ago | (#32845368)

They are, either for very small gallons or for very large liters.

Imperial liters, perhaps.

Re:FTA: (1)

TrevorB (57780) | about 4 years ago | (#32845160)

I question the validity of any site that thinks gallons and liters are interchangable

I'm about to nitpick, but....

Both of these statements are true: "The well has pumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf". "The well has pumped millions of liters of oil into the Gulf".

They are comparable if we're talking order of magnitude. I know 3.79 != 1, but when we're talking about "millions of" in a vague sense where nobody really knows what's going on, the real difference is between 10^6, 10^7, or 10^8. M*10^6 and N*10^6 are relatively interchangeable. If we knew that the spill was exactly x*10^y litres, I'd be agreeing with you. /Did both mathematics and physics in university, and appreciates both sides of the argument...

previously and now future unknown species (0, Redundant)

roman_mir (125474) | about 4 years ago | (#32844612)

discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish

- those are discovered around the oil spill, I'd call them previously and now future unknown species. The way they move using those little fins as legs doesn't inspire confidence that they'll be able to relocate far enough from the oily water and probably will all die once there is no more oxygen in the water around them, as the oxygen will all be consumed by the oil eating bacteria.

Re:previously and now future unknown species (1)

Haffner (1349071) | about 4 years ago | (#32844788)

Then again, oil is lighter than water, so fish living on the bottom of the ocean are probably more likely to survive, than say, those who live nearest the top.

Re:previously and now future unknown species (2, Informative)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 4 years ago | (#32845382)

Except that the disbursants being pumped into the water cause the oil to break up into tiny particles and sink to the bottom.

Spokesman for BP (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | about 4 years ago | (#32844642)

Spokesman for BP assures everyone that the fact that the fish has three heads, 5 legs and squirts a strangely mutagenic substance at it's prey has nothing to do with the oil or the disbursants being injected into the water near the site.

And now BP will take the credit for the discovery (1)

Taelron (1046946) | about 4 years ago | (#32844654)

Now just watch, on the BP spin, er, news site, there will be an article saying how great this oil spill is because they discovered two new species of fish. Had then not put all those cameras and submersibles there, we'd have missed out on this new species that will likewise also be wiped out...

Clean them (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | about 4 years ago | (#32844698)

After removing all the oil will be easy to see that are part of the already known brucewaynefish species.

Re:Clean them (2, Funny)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 4 years ago | (#32845032)

Quick Robin! The Batfish Repellent!

I have seen one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32844764)

I have seen one [blogspot.com] on TV.

Isn't the oil spilling up? (1)

jr2k (1434921) | about 4 years ago | (#32844786)

If these fish are bottom feeders, then just stay on the bottom of the ocean. Oil floats, right?

I think these fish will be just fine.

Re:Isn't the oil spilling up? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#32844900)

Until the oil eating bacteria remove all the oxygen those fish need. Also oil with dispersant in it does not float to the top.

Re:Isn't the oil spilling up? (1)

Bryansix (761547) | about 4 years ago | (#32844968)

Also oil with dispersant in it does not float to the top.

In Russia it does.

Re:Isn't the oil spilling up? (1)

jr2k (1434921) | about 4 years ago | (#32844986)

Serious question: How does O2 get at the seafloor at that depth in the first place?

Are we 100% sure that the O2 that the fish needs doesn't come from the seabed itself? I remember watching on of the DiscoveryHD shows where some fish at extreme depths get their O2 from "steam vents" or something along those lines.

And they will really appreciate the poison rain (2, Informative)

Marrow (195242) | about 4 years ago | (#32844998)

As an entire ecosystem dies above them, the residues, acids, and by-products of decomposition will settle to the bottom. Plus they probably wont miss all that pesky oxygen that can no longer dissolve into the water.

Animals can become susceptible to disease from changes in any number of factors. Temperature, pH, etc.

Plus, do you think the material coming out of the ground is in any way uniform in composition or will remain together? Or is different stuff, metals, chemicals, acids, poisons and whatever going to separate out and go wherever it wants.

Its like pouring the most dirty toxic destructive can of solvents you ever had in your lab and throwing it into the water. By the ton.

Re:Just Fine... (1)

blackbeak (1227080) | about 4 years ago | (#32845354)

I think these fish will be just fine.

Yeah, just fine until security teams spot them trespassing in BP's Gulf!

Wait for it ... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 4 years ago | (#32845116)

If we're talking about batfish and an oil spill, there must be a manbearpig joke coming...

Obligatory (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 4 years ago | (#32845216)

The good news: We discovered a new species of fish. The bad news: They are now extinct. [twitter.com]

Distinguishing feature (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 4 years ago | (#32845222)

They are distinguished from other species of batfish by their oiliness.

Won't be the only "new" species discovery (1)

RConrad (1052626) | about 4 years ago | (#32845304)

Stay tuned as we learn what other new life forms have been caused by BP's crime against nature.
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