A whale interrupts a deep-sea expedition on the site of the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, the animals of the sea are still recovering.

You may have seen a video making the rounds about deepwater explorers and their encounter with a sperm whale.

It's a really cool clip. If you haven't seen it yet, go ahead and give it a watch (it's at the bottom of this post).


But there are a few things you might not know about that crew. For example...

The crew is led by the same man who discovered the Titanic.

No, not him.

Him!

That's Bob Ballard, and he's basically the Michael Jordan of, uh, doing stuff underwater.

Just two dudes at the top of their game.

So it really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that he's making rare, chance encounters with whales.

And another thing you might not know about the whale video: It was filmed at the site of the Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster.

Less wondrous majesty of the sea, and more ... oil and fire and smoke and stuff.

It's been five years since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

Located roughly 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, it became the site of one of the world's largest drilling-related disasters.

For 87 days, oil rushed from the leak before it was finally capped on July 15, 2010. It wasn't until Sept. 19, though, that the well was sealed off.

According to a report by the U.S. Coast Guard, nearly 5 million barrels of oil leaked into the Gulf.



As part of the containment efforts, the Coast Guard attempted to burn the oil off the surface, as seen in this picture from May 5, 2010.

Wildlife was negatively affected onshore and off, leading to short- and long-term challenges.


Ballard and his crew are out there researching the spill site to answer some remaining questions.

There's still a lot we don't really know about the long-term effects of such a huge spill.

The crew took some time this week to answer questions about their work exploring the area during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session.

They touch on their work, as well as some general questions about the spill. I highly recommend checking it out. It's great stuff.

Check out the team's encounter with the sperm whale below:

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