26/03/2012 The Guardian
Deep sea corals appear to have been seriously harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to scientists.
A survey of one site near the well in the Gulf of Mexico uncovered "compelling evidence" of pollution damage. Coral communities more than 1,220 metres (4,000ft) below the surface of the ocean appeared stressed and discoloured.
Tests showed that oil from the site bore Deepwater Horizon's chemical "fingerprint".
Determining the impact of oil spills at the bottom of the ocean can be difficult because oil seeps naturally from cracks in sea floor.
The explosion, in April 2010, poured an estimated 405m litres (160m gallons) of oil into the Gulf, causing a major environmental disaster.