DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pool of crude oil beside a Cepe-Texaco oil well in the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador. A large proportion of the rainforest in this area has been handed out to foreign oil companies for development. Beside each well is a pool of oil like this one; oil is dumped into the pool every 6 months when the well is cleaned. Much of the oil eventually leaks away into the forest or drains into nearby rivers.
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