Photo via Daily Press
The world's biggest oil skimmer is now in the Gulf, and is preparing to take part in the cleanup operations. But it's kind of hard to conceptualize what the biggest oil skimmer in the world, which is 400 yards long (a quarter of a mile) and 100 yards wide, actually looks like. Unless you're standing on it. Or at least watching a video of some reporter standing on it. And so:
This skimmer, a retro-fitted cargo ship, can reportedly gather up to 400,000 barrels of oil a day. As the Huffpo Green notes, that's enough to "effectively [accomplish] in two weeks what 500 skimming boats have done in two months."
The ship is aptly named "A Whale" (why not "The Whale" or just "Whale" we'll never know) and is currently awaiting approval to commence cleanup operations from the Coast Guard. There are evidently still environmental concerns that need to be cleared before the gargantuan vessel can start making all the other skimmers on the Gulf look bad.
Questions will no doubt linger as to why such a vessel wasn't put into service earlier, before miles of marshland were soaked with oil and the spill grew to a size spanning hundreds of miles. But for now, just look at that thing. It's big.