Public Domain Image: US Coast Guard
On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, in the Gulf of Mexico, when a blowout caused a catastrophic explosion. Eleven members of the rig's crew died in the resulting fire, and the rig sank two days later. The resulting oil spill, estimated at more than 200 million gallons, was the largest ever release of oil into the ocean. The well took nearly three months to cap, and the spill caused significant damage to Gulf fisheries and tourism.