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Just Travel the Line of Oil Jugs...

Associated Press writers often create some useful comparisons to make statistics real...or more understandable. A case in point is this extension of its May depiction of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


As of September 11th, the estimated volume of oil spilled is 190,120,055 gallons.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince william Sound involved 11,000,000 gallons.

The Valdez oil spill would fill nine gymnasiums, each 50 ft x 50 ft x 65 ft high.

Question 1: How many gymnasiums would the recent oil spill fill?

The Associated Press also noted that 130 million gallons of oil would fill enough gallon jugs to stretch the distance from New York to Buenos Aires and back (>11,300 miles), with jugs left over.

Question 2: What distances would the both the recent oil spill and the Valdez oil spill stretch? Interpret these distance using a round-trips to two different cities, starting from New York City on each trip.

Source: Associated Press, May 23, 2010