The 15 Biggest Oil Spills

Where Deepwater Horizon falls: A map of the worst spills in history.

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Where’s the Exxon Valdez on the map of biggest oil spills, you might be wondering? Well, at 262,000 barrels spilled, it doesn’t make the cut. Not even close. The smallest spill pictured below was 871,000 barrels. The Deepwater Horizon, even using BP-provided estimates, is now the world’s second-largest spill of all time, right after the oil that Saddam Hussein intentionally dumped in 1991. This map does not account for chronic spills, as in the Niger Delta, polluted by at least 13 million barrels. And it shows the problem of identifying the culprits: In three instances, the responsible party is still unknown.

The 15 Biggest Oil SpillsIllustration: Nicholas Felton

Read also: MoJo‘s complete BP coverage, Julia Whitty on the oil spill cover-up, and the rest of our special report on BP’s deep ocean secrets.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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