Hey. Where’d the Oil Go?

I thought something was fishy.

On TV, they kept saying that the coastline was being ruined by all that oil, but they never showed any wide angle pictures of the oil. All they showed was tight shots of that same Pelican, over and over again, and perhaps a gloved hand dipping in oil.

But given the hugeness of the spill, they should have had lots of footage of beach upon beach that was destroyed. But they didn’t.

The oil, for the most part, has disappeared:

For 86 days, oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from BP’s damaged well, dumping some 200 million gallons of crude into sensitive ecosystems. BP and the federal government have amassed an army to clean the oil up, but there’s one problem — they’re having trouble finding it.

At its peak last month, the oil slick was the size of Kansas, but it has been rapidly shrinking, now down to the size of New Hampshire.

Today, ABC News surveyed a marsh area and found none, and even on a flight out to the rig site Sunday with the Coast Guard, there was no oil to be seen.

“That oil is somewhere. It didn’t just disappear,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.

Salvador Cepriano is one of the men searching for crude. Cepriano, a shrimper, has been laying out boom with his boat, but he’s found that there’s no oil to catch.

“I think it is underneath the water. It’s in between the bottom and the top of the water,” Cepriano said.

Even the federal government admits that locating the oil has become a problem.

“It is becoming a very elusive bunch of oil for us to find,” said National Incident Cmdr. Thad Allen.

Oh, it may still do a lot of damage. It may poison large areas. Then again, it may not. Since it was so far out and so deep, and had dispersant injected right into the leak, it may have all just turned into relatively harmless tar balls and sunk to the bottom again.

Or, a thermocline is keeping it all down there.

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