Oil-Munching Microbes Mop Up The Gulf

In April of 2010 an offshore oil rig catastrophe dumped millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Initial doomsday reports were that the region's ecology and billion dollar sea food industry would be ruined for many decades to come.

However, the-sky-is-falling crowd had not considered the fact that about 50 million gallons of oil naturally seep into the Gulf annually as our post-curse world continues to groan and travail in pain (Romans 8:22). This begs the question, "What has prevented the naturally seeping crude from destroying the Gulf's ecology and fisheries?"

The answer is simple: bacteria.  A recent study revealed that crude oil pouring into the Gulf, both from this year's Deep Horizon oil rig disaster and from natural seepage, gets eaten rather quickly by oil-devouring bacteria.

Bacteria are incredible single-celled microscopic life forms which are found in almost every environment.  Though some bacteria cause food poisoning and infectious diseases, most are harmless and many are quite beneficial. Some even assist in food digestion while others are employed in the production of yogurt and cheeses.

Ten times in Genesis we are told God created plants or animals to "bring forth after their kind."  This is exactly what every scientific observation confirms: Kinds will only bring forth after their kind with adaptations within a kind caused by the recombination or loss of the originally created gene pool.

The oil-munching bacteria in the Gulf were specifically designed with the ability to adapt to feed upon crude oil.  Without these microscopic wonders of God's creation, "We'd have oceans covered with oil slicks," stated marine ecologist Alan Mearns in a ScienceNOW article.

Researchers found high levels of these oil-eating bacteria in oil slick samples from the Gulf. Studies show the bacteria can multiply quickly to keep pace with their food supply, even the massive levels of oil released into the seas by the current disaster. The Washington Post stated that the bacteria "ramped up their own internal metabolic machinery to digest the oil as efficiently as possible." 1

Then their population quickly diminishes once they've cleaned up an oil spill and their food supply dwindles.

Because of these well designed ecology-saving bacteria, ScienceNOW researchers are optimistic that "the oil will be gone much sooner than people thought before." 2

The fact is that our heavenly Creator designed His creation to be resilient, able to clean up both naturally occurring and manmade messes in the post-curse, post-flood world in which we live.

The same Creator who sent us crude-gobbling bacteria to clean up oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico is the same loving God who sent His only begotten Son to re-unite Believers with Him for eternity in heaven (John 3:16).

My advice is that we put our faith in the Word of God, Who became flesh and dwelt among us, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Brown, D. Study: Petroleum-eating microbes significantly reduced gulf oil. The Washington Post on washingtonpost.com 8-24-10.

Minogue, K. Bacteria Are Gobbling Gulf Oil. ScienceNOW on news.sciencemag.org 8-24-10.

by Russ Miller of www.creationministries.org