NOME, AK—A Castrol supertanker ran aground Monday near Nome, AK, spilling more than 50 million gallons of high-grade Castrol motor oil into the Bering Strait and greatly improving the viscosity of local marine wildlife.
The spill, the world's largest since the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, coated over 500,000 birds, fish and seals in quality, medium-weight lubricant that will provide them with valuable protection and keep important animal parts running smooth.
Local wildlife officials were excited by the spill. "A thick coat of oil should help these animals tremendously, especially with the cold weather coming," said Greg Gedman, secretary of Alaska's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. "Last winter, over 2,500 Aleutian cranes suffered severe thermal breakdown from the cold. When temperatures reach 75 degrees below zero, cranes need a good oil like Castrol to keep their wings, claws and other parts loose."
Gedman said that the Bering Strait's extremely active animal population has long been in need of basic preventative oil care.
"Today's wildlife revs at higher r.p.m.'s," Gedman said. "So when you're a gray seal swimming after a fish at over 200 strokes per minute, you can't afford any excess friction on your fins or tail. You need a quality motor oil to keep them as loose as possible."
Particularly enjoying the Castrol spill is the local salmon population. Shortly after the spill took place, several thousand Alaskan salmon were spotted enthusiastically flipping about in the crude oil, gasping for air from all the playful exertion. Many of the fish were so tired from frolicking that they stopped moving altogether.
Castrol public-relations director Bob Crutchfield expressed pleasure with the oil spill. "For years our products have provided top-notch protection for millions of automobile owners," Crutchfield said. "Now we've shown the world that we can offer that same protection to America's birds, fish and other wildlife."
Crutchfield said that, for most Arctic-region animals, he recommends Castrol Premium. For animals that spend a lot of time in or near the water, such as egrets and halibut, he recommended Castrol Plus, which contains a special anti-rust ingredient.
Monday's spill was so successful, Crutchfield said, that plans are already underway for more oil leaks around the world. Beginning this spring, massive Castrol tankers will be intentionally run aground in over three dozen wildlife-rich areas, covering millions of surrounding flora and fauna in a healthy coat of premium-grade motor oil. In shoreline areas not rocky enough to rupture the tankers' metal hulls, the vessels will be "pre-cut," their hulls sliced just enough to burst open at the slightest contact.
In addition to off-shore spills, Castrol officials hope to expand inland, coating rainforests, wetlands and other at-risk ecosystems in high-grade automotive lubricant.
"Every day, seven more species become extinct in the Amazon rainforest," said Marcia Nettles, director of the Rainforest Action Network. "Perhaps if we stressed proper prevention and maintenance with genuine Castrol-brand products, we could keep these species from dying off so fast."
According to Gedman, Monday's spill has had an added benefit, providing the waters of the Bering Strait with an attractive rainbow sheen. "Before the spill, the water here was pretty much greenish-blue all the time," Gedman said. "Now we've got a million different colors. It's quite beautiful: The oil's iridescent, rainbow-colored shine is far more attractive than the algae and drab-green colors of the plant life it replaced."