"SLIME HIGHWAY"

The Gulf of Mexico's sea floor is covered for miles with a "fluffy and porous" layer of oil, scientists discovered Sunday night and Monday morning, and it's beyond anything produced by natural oil seeps. "I've collected literally hundreds of sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico, including around this area," says University of Georgia marine scientist Samantha Joye. "And I've never seen anything like this." The oily fluff is more than 2 inches thick in some places, and in addition to being studded with tiny tar balls, it has also trapped a menagerie of dead shrimp, worms and other invertebrates.

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