It's amazing what ravenous bacteria can do: Microbes in the Gulf of Mexico consumed most of the methane and other natural gases released by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a report released Friday. The ocean's natural cleaning process was near-complete just months after the spill, stunning scientists who thought the gulf's waters would be tainted for years. Most of the oil has settled on the ocean floor, washed ashore, or dissolved along with chemical dispersants into the seawater. In a report last month, federal officials said there was no significant amount of oil remaining, and most of the gulf's fisheries have reopened. Some microbiologists are skeptical, though, and fear the environmental impact might be whitewashed by such optimistic findings. "It would take a superhuman microbe to do what they are claiming," one said.
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