Challenge of cleaning up Gulf of Mexico oil spill 'unprecedented' at such depths

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has not yet caused coastal damage on the scale of the Exxon Valdez disaster. But scientists say it is becoming something different and potentially much more troubling: the first massive U.S. oil spill whose effects so far are largely hidden underwater.

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The spill's impacts on underwater creatures might not be fully understood for years, said Ronald J. Kendall, a professor at Texas Tech University. "It's a massive eco-toxicological experiment underway."

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