The 8 Most Important Videos of the Gulf Oil Disaster


 In a larger-than-life event like the Gulf Oil disaster, words can only do so much to portray the bitterness, anguish, and absurdity of the situation. We must also rely on images and video to document the tragedy. We’ve shown you some of the pictures. Below, we take a look at 8 of the most important Deepwater Horizon disaster-related videos, both serious and humorous.

This video from National Geographic shows the Deepwater Horizon rig shortly after the April 20th explosion that caused the underwater oil leak. At this point in time, the worst part of the disaster appeared to be the fiery rig.

Last week, BP CEO Tony Hayward made the egregious error of saying he “would like his life back”. Needless to say, the comment drew many angry responses from Gulf Coast residents.


As a response to the clip above, Christopher K. Jones, the sibling of one of the rig workers who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, tells the Senate Judiciary Committee that he wants his brother’s life back.

South Florida’s Raging Grannies bring some much-needed humor to the situation with this protest music video telling BP and Halliburton just how much they suck. 


Most of the pictures and video of the disaster are taken from above the ocean’s surface (or at the source of the leak, in the case of BP’s live feed), but this Good Morning America clip featuring Sam Champion and Philippe Cousteau, Jr. shows just how bad things are underwater.

This video from our own Ryan Marshall depicts the scene on Memorial Day weekend in Grand Isle, Louisiana–one of the areas hit hard by the spill.


Nothing shows the scale of the disaster quite like BP’s live feed of the leaking well. The clip below shows the gusher during BP’s failed “Top Kill” operation–an attempt to stop the flow of oil by pumping mud into the damaged well.

And of course, no major world event is complete without a reenactment performed by cats.


We also received a number of suggestions from our Twitter followers, including a video of a former shrimper cleaning up the spill from @sheenamedina, an oiled bird attempting to walk from @jenshanks, and an interview with one of the Deepwater Horizon blowout survivors from @ADHumlen. Have more suggestions? Let us know in the commnets.

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Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.