It’s Hard to Imagine this Unintended Consequence!

So, although this is old news, I’m still thinking about the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. You probably know that scientists think that the special oil-eating bacteria that live in the depths of the Gulf ate a lot of the oil. The fact that much of the oil has disappeared is good news, of course. But….I can’t find the logical follow-up to this story.

 I mean, Holy Cow! This was one humongous oil spill. Those bacteria were used to eating oil that naturally seeps into the Gulf, but….look at it like this. Suppose we often have, say, a bowl of ice cream in the evening. Some of us, probably of the female persuasion, feel a little guilty about it, but also feel like, heck, we deserve it.

 Ok, so these little bacteria have their nightly bowl of oil. Then all of a sudden, instead of our nightly bowl of ice cream, we are having the whole ice cream truck. Maybe 100 ice cream truckfuls at a sitting! And to get back to the bacteria, all of a sudden they would be eating amazing amounts of oil, instead of an evening’s dainty ice cream bowlful.  What are the results?

Well #1, you, me, and the bacteria would be gaining weight at a pretty fast clip. #2 Maybe we wouldn’t feel so good….with the concomitant result of shall we say, loose bowels? So, here is my question to the scientists: Tell us about the monster bacteria that have grown so very big and strong from their amazing over-eating. Are they now the big, unmatched bullies of the Gulf? Or are they so incredibly fat now that they can hardly move? And what is the effect on the Gulf of that enormous amount of bacteria effluvia?

There is a children’s book called “Everybody Poops”. I think that must include over-indulging bacteria. Wow!


© 2011 Margery Leveen Sher