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Oil is something we use every day, but seldom think about. Without it, we couldn’t drive our car or have LEGOs, because they’re made of plastic, which comes from oil. How much do you know about this ancient, magical substance?

1. Where does the gasoline in our car come from?
a) Dead plants and animals that lived on the Earth, millions of years ago.
b) A distillery.
c) It might be imported from half way around the world.
d) All of the above.

Find out with this Shell Oil video: http://bit.ly/9LrUjU. Oil is made up of dead plants and animals many millions of years old. Before it can be used in your car, it has to be distilled.







2. Which country uses the most oil, per person?
A) China
B) The United States
C) Canada

The United States is the world leader in oil consumption. Find out at http://bit.ly/aKbXoD.






3. If a puddle of gasoline catches on fire, what’s the best way to put it out?
a) Spray it with water
b) Use a special fire “Type B” fire extinguisher, or smother it with a wet cloth. But don’t throw water on it.

B. Find out at http://www.fire-extinguisher101.com.







4. In the Gulf of Mexico, how many miles down do you have to drill before you find oil?
a) 1 mile
b) 5 miles
c) 15 miles

It depends, but the deep water rigs go between 3 and 5 miles down. That doesn’t count a mile of ice cold salt water! Find out at http://bit.ly/9lnKMG (Wired Magazine).







5. How big is the BP Oil Spill of 2010?

Visit the EPA’s page on the BP spill, http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/ to see some photos of the world’s largest oil spill. You can also find some ongoing coverage at National Geographic, http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/gulf-oil-spill-5488/Overview#tab-Photos/0. You can see the giant slick from the sky.







6. How many oil rigs are in the Gulf of Mexico?
a) 360
b) 4000
c) 50
d) 9000

There are about 4000 off shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Not all are active. Find out at http://bit.ly/dwtGAF.







YouTube videos.

Want to watch a whale sniff an oil drill or know what it’s like to live on an oil rig? Click on the  video to find a dozen pre-selected YouTube videos that deal with oil. You’ll see
some pretty cool things!



Filed in: Oceanography, Science

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