5. Exxon Valdez
Location: Prince William Sound, Alaska 1989
Oil Spilled: 200,000 tonnes
While it isn't one of the biggest oil spills to have happened it definitely was one of the worst spills. Off the coast of Alaska the Exxon Valdez tanker hit a reef and spilled tonnes of oil all over the place. The Exxon Valdez only had half the crew of a normal tanker and had to work with inadequate technology on the ship. Due to the remoteness of the area it was extremely difficult for rescue workers and cleanup workers to get to the oil spill in the first place. By the time clean up crew could reach the area the wide array of wildlife was dead. It was considered the worst oil spill in the U.S until....
4. Deepwater Horizon
Location: Gulf of Mexico near Mississippi River Delta, United States 2010
Oil Spilled: 200,000-400,00 tonnes
You all probably know the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the infamous spill that destroyed the sea, fish, and BP. To be honest this oil spill is actually small compared to other oil spills, so why did it make this list? While it may not have been the absolute worst oil spill it definitely caused some serious damage. Whereas other oil spills occured in less populated areas, this occurred in the center of major fishing waters. Also different from other similar sized oil spills is the fact that oil washed up on the shore and killed animals there as well. So while it may have been one of the smaller oil spills it definitely caused a commotion in the Gulf of Mexico.
3. IXTOC1 Spill
Location: Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico 1980
Oil Spilled: 470,000 tonnes
The IXTOC1 spill (say that 3x times fast) was one of the many spills that happened in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mexican company Pemex was drilling a deep oil well when the drilling ship suffered a blowout. The effects were disastrous with local fisherman tell stories of dead fish washing on shore while scientists report that 50% of the local fish and octopus population died off.
2.Gulf War Oil Spill
Location: Persian Gulf 1991
Oil Spilled: 1,090,000 tonnes
In 1991, during the Gulf War, lots of people did things they regretted. Iraqi forces opened up their valves and what resulted was the number two worst oil spill ever. American forces (thinking that they could shut the well) started bombing the valves which failed to shut the valve. Although the Persian gulf's temperature helped the oil evaporate faster it still hurt the diverse wildlife that lived in the area. And unlike the other spills on the list cleanup workers could not reach the area leaving an even more devastated area.
1. Lakeview Gusher
Location: Kern County, California 1910
Oil Spilled: 1,200,000 tonnes
Any place which had 1.2 million tonnes of oil dumped onto it is never going to be a pretty place. The story goes that the Lakeview Oil Company started drilling for oil in Kern County. What they intended to find was natural gas but what they didn't realize was that they were sitting on the largest reserve of oil in America. What they also didn't realize was that the well in question was over pressured from the amount of oil it contained. When Lakeview started drilling it burst this bubble and caused the above mentioned 1.2 million tonnes of oil to be dumped onto the land. The environment around Kern County was completely changed. The area around the site changed into a sea of caked oil. The spillage lasted 18 months but the effects can be seen even now 100 years later.