From Gulf of Mexico to Tokyo Bay, a brief pictorial history of oil spills

A leaky underwater gas pipe ignited a fire on July 2, 2021, in the Gulf of Mexico, that blazed on the water surface for five hours straight. Here are seven such oil spill disasters that have historically wreaked havoc on marine life and coastal habitation.
Deepwater Horizon oil spill: In April 2010, the leakage from a seafloor oil gusher led to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring many others. It is estimated that the three-month long oil spil
Deepwater Horizon oil spill: In April 2010, the leakage from a seafloor oil gusher led to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring many others. It is estimated that the three-month long oil spil
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South Korea 2007 oil spill: An estimated 10,500 tons, or 2.8 million gallons, of crude oil leaked into the Yellow Sea in December 2007 when a barge punched three holes into a Hong Kong-registered oil tanker in bad weather. Around 7,000 civilians were reportedly involved in the cleanup efforts. Villagers struggled with nausea and headache, and the nearby fish farms, and oyster and abalone beds were destroyed by the oil sludge. (Photo | AFP)
South Korea 2007 oil spill: An estimated 10,500 tons, or 2.8 million gallons, of crude oil leaked into the Yellow Sea in December 2007 when a barge punched three holes into a Hong Kong-registered oil tanker in bad weather. Around 7,000 civilians were reportedly involved in the cleanup efforts. Villagers struggled with nausea and headache, and the nearby fish farms, and oyster and abalone beds were destroyed by the oil sludge. (Photo | AFP)
Tokyo Bay oil spill: The 14,000 kilo litre crude oil spillage on Tokyo Bay in July 1997 is considered to be one of Japan's worst oil spills. The spillage from the tanker Diamond Grace near the Yokohama port created a 66.5-sq km oil slick and was declared a national disaster. Public warnings were issued when the winds started pushing the highly volatile oil slick towards downtown Tokyo. (Photo | AFP)
Tokyo Bay oil spill: The 14,000 kilo litre crude oil spillage on Tokyo Bay in July 1997 is considered to be one of Japan's worst oil spills. The spillage from the tanker Diamond Grace near the Yokohama port created a 66.5-sq km oil slick and was declared a national disaster. Public warnings were issued when the winds started pushing the highly volatile oil slick towards downtown Tokyo. (Photo | AFP)
Nurlino-Novosibirsk pipeline oil spill:  An oil spill that started in the fag end of 1995 in the Nurlino-Novosibirsk pipeline in the Russian region of Bashkortostan took a beastly shape by 1996 when the oil spill started contaminating the water supply of multiple villages along the southern Ural mountains. The adverse weather conditions also made cleaning up difficult, with the oil moving under the frozen Belaya river. (Photo | AFP)
Nurlino-Novosibirsk pipeline oil spill: An oil spill that started in the fag end of 1995 in the Nurlino-Novosibirsk pipeline in the Russian region of Bashkortostan took a beastly shape by 1996 when the oil spill started contaminating the water supply of multiple villages along the southern Ural mountains. The adverse weather conditions also made cleaning up difficult, with the oil moving under the frozen Belaya river. (Photo | AFP)
Exxon Valdez oil spill:  Considered to be one of the worst oil spills in the history of the United States, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred when the oil tanker owned by the Exxon Shipping Company spilt 11 million gallons of crude oil into the Alaskan shoreline on March 24, 1989.  More than 2000 km of the coast was covered with an oil slick, and a huge chunk of marine life died in the impact, including whales, seals, and even sea birds. Even after three decades of the oil spill, crude oil from the spill can still be found in pockets in the region. (Photo | AFP)
Exxon Valdez oil spill: Considered to be one of the worst oil spills in the history of the United States, the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred when the oil tanker owned by the Exxon Shipping Company spilt 11 million gallons of crude oil into the Alaskan shoreline on March 24, 1989. More than 2000 km of the coast was covered with an oil slick, and a huge chunk of marine life died in the impact, including whales, seals, and even sea birds. Even after three decades of the oil spill, crude oil from the spill can still be found in pockets in the region. (Photo | AFP)
Persian Gulf War oil spill:  The Gulf War oil spill is one of the world's largest oil spills and also one of the few that were not born of an accident. In 1990, Iraq, under the Saddam Hussein regime, invaded and occupied Kuwait. To keep U.S. coalition forces from launching an amphibious attack, the Iraqi forces reportedly released hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf, resulting in one of the largest oil spills in history. They also filled coastal trenches with oil and set Kuwait's oil wells ablaze, which reportedly burned for months. (Photo | AFP)
Persian Gulf War oil spill: The Gulf War oil spill is one of the world's largest oil spills and also one of the few that were not born of an accident. In 1990, Iraq, under the Saddam Hussein regime, invaded and occupied Kuwait. To keep U.S. coalition forces from launching an amphibious attack, the Iraqi forces reportedly released hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf, resulting in one of the largest oil spills in history. They also filled coastal trenches with oil and set Kuwait's oil wells ablaze, which reportedly burned for months. (Photo | AFP)
Amoco Cadiz oil spill:  On the morning of March 16, 1978, a very large crude carrier, loaded with 69 million gallons of crude oil, succumbed to the rough winds and waters of the English channel and ran aground on the rocky French coast. The hull and container tanks of the Amoco Cadiz were punctured in the impact, and the oil leaked into the water, polluting about 321 km of the French coast with an oil slick. It is estimated that millions of invertebrates, including molluscs and crustaceans, as well as around 20,000 birds, were killed in this environmental disaster. (Photo | AFP)
Amoco Cadiz oil spill: On the morning of March 16, 1978, a very large crude carrier, loaded with 69 million gallons of crude oil, succumbed to the rough winds and waters of the English channel and ran aground on the rocky French coast. The hull and container tanks of the Amoco Cadiz were punctured in the impact, and the oil leaked into the water, polluting about 321 km of the French coast with an oil slick. It is estimated that millions of invertebrates, including molluscs and crustaceans, as well as around 20,000 birds, were killed in this environmental disaster. (Photo | AFP)

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