Although it is difficult to overstate the damage caused by massive oil spills like the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon, millions of smaller spills occur worldwide every year. Many are no more than a barrel, but they can still be dangerous. Indeed, most of us have seen heartbreaking footage of sea birds, turtles, otters, and other animals covered in crude. The mere presence of the substance can leave birds unable to fly and remove the insulation from a mammal's fur.

Even if oil isn't an immediate death sentence, the compounds in oil correlate to higher rates of immunodeficiency, stunted growth, heart damage, and many other rare diseases. And the effects are as bad for plants as for animals, if not worse. Therefore, everyone is looking for the best way to clean up and reverse the damage of oil pollution. This article will consider how fungi may be the answer.