Alcanivorax borkumensis is a microbe which digests crude oil. It prefers to live in oxygen-rich saltwater and is very helpful in cleaning up oil spills in ocean and coastal regions.

With enough nitrogen and phosphorus to act as fertiliser for them, these bacteria can become the dominant microbes in a contaminated area. They're just one of at least 7 known species which live off hydrocarbons, but they're probably the most prolific.

Just another of Earth's biological reflexes to help curb the damage which humans are capable of in their hubris.

@InvaderXan fascinating. Do you know what happens to them when they have digested all the crude oil in an area?

@GwenfarsGarden I assume they die off as their food supply runs out. They're apparently quite a common bacterium, found in warm seas in various parts of the world. It's just they're only normally present in very small numbers. At least until something happens to provide them with an abundance of nutrition...

@InvaderXan @Felthry As far as I can tell, this name means "alcane eater of Borkum", which says the organism may have been discovered and/or scientifically examined in the North Sea close to the german island of Borkum.

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