In 1835, Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands. The unique wildlife inspired his theory of evolution. In 2019, a barge carrying 600 gallons of oil was overturned while unloading near that very location.
The unique wildlife that can only be found on these islands are now covered in oil.
The spill is contained according to a tweet by the president of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno. Although, it is still unclear how much oil spilled into the ocean at this time. But it will surely have an impact on wildlife.
How Did This Happen?
It is quite unusual for a barge to get overturned, but the reason actually does not have anything to do with the barge itself. Instead, it has to do with the crane that fell on top of it.
In fact, there is a video that highlights the entire incident.
From the video, it appears that a crate being loaded came crashing down onto the vessel, which in turn, pulled the entire crane into the sea. And the barge overturned as a direct result, which is how the oil spilled out.
Luckily, it seems that no one was hurt in the incident according to local media coverage.
Not the First Spill
Sadly, this is not the first time an oil spill has occurred in the Galapagos Islands. Back in 2001, a far more severe oil spill occurred when a ship rammed into a reef.
As a result, 150,000 gallons of oil spilled into the region and had a serious impact on the islands. The native iguana population declined by nearly 60%. This caused a Drop from 25,000 to 10,000 as a direct result of the accident.
While this is a much smaller spill in comparison, it is unclear how it will affect wildlife. However, you can be sure that it will have a negative impact.
One thing is clear, we need to be more careful when it comes to transporting oil in the region…or any region for that matter.