Sea snot explodes near BP spill disaster site, threatening marine ecosystem

Via the BB Submitterator, Marilyn Terrell of National Geographic says,

Scientists studying the water surface near the BP rig explosion spotted relatively huge particles of sea snot, a mucus-like substance that phytoplankton produce when stressed. "It's possible that exposure to the Deepwater Horizon oil caused them to pump out more of the sticky stuff than usual." Sinking quickly en masse to the sea floor, the clumps of mucus may have temporarily wiped out the base of the food chain in the spill region. Adding oil to the snot makes marine mucilage, which can grow 100 mi. long.
"Sea Snot" Explosion Caused by Gulf Oil Spill? (Image: National Geographic News / Arne Diercks)