The Effects of an Oil Spill on the Earth


Effects of an Oil SpillEvery now and then, an oil spill happens. The news shows us devastating videos of oil covered animals and oil saturated oceans. It is always a heartbreaking event, yet not everyone understands how dangerous an oil spill can get. Hopefully, by the end of this activity, you will be able to understand oil spills and their effects.

What you need:

• Food coloring
• A large glass jar
• Cooking oil
• A liter of distilled water
• Marine bath tub toy
• Notepad

How to do it:

  1. Fill the large glass jar with your distilled water.
  2. Add in the food coloring. (Use blue, so that the water can represent the ocean.)
  3. Place your marine bath toy into the jar. Watch as it floats. (This represents the marine life thriving in the ocean.)
  4. Pour in the cooking oil. Avoid pouring it over the toy.
  5. Observe as you swirl the jar. Imagine the water’s motion as the waves in the ocean.

The food coloring easily mixed with the distilled water, yet the oil didn’t. This is because it is less dense than water. The oil then gathers on the surface of the colored distilled water. Even if you stir the substances, they do not combine.

The marine bath toys are coated with the oil very quickly. Birds cannot fly when their feathers are oiled. They die because of the toxicity and because they just couldn’t move. Animals in the water as the spill transpires are affected greatly. When they try to come up for air, oil coats them and kills them.

Hopefully, this activity has enlightened you more on the detriments of oil spills.

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