Mysterious crude oil spill in Brazil affects coastal wildlife, beaches

An oil spill of unknown origin is reportedly harming Brazil’s wildlife and beaches. 

For several months, blobs of crude oil have appeared on Brazil’s coastline, Reuters reported, calling the spill the worst in the country’s history. 

By Dec. 18, more than 950 beaches in 11 states had been affected. 


Brazilian authorities have made a list of oil tankers that they suspect could be behind the spill, but all of the companies they belong to have denied responsibility, according to the wire service. 

Reuters reported that 159 animals, including sea turtles, birds and marine mammals, have been affected and that 109 of them have died. 

The first oil clumps were found in August, but Brazil’s energy minister began attending meetings on the matter in October, according to Reuters, which cited government records. In October, an emergency plan was also activated. Activists told the wire service they worried the government wasn’t doing enough. 

Separately, Brazil’s government has recently faced international criticism for its handling of fires plaguing the Amazon rainforest. The country notably rejected an offer of international aid to combat the flames. 

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