DELPHINE AURES / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DELPHINE AURES / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oil slick on a beach. Thick coating of fuel oil that has washed ashore on a beach following an oil spill. Oil is toxic to wildlife and takes a long time to break down naturally. It can remain on beaches for months or years, unless it is removed by humans. This oil is from the shipwreck of the oil tanker Erika in a storm in the Bay of Biscay on 12 December 1999, off the coast of Brittany, France. This oil spill was one of the world's worst environmental disasters. For a view of the beach, see E835/459.
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