Look at this strange stuff. It's called Aerogel, and it's a super insulator with the lowest density of any solid substance in the world. Affectionately known as "frozen smoke," it happens to be really good at sucking up a bunch of slimy oil. Its maker, AeroClay, is hard at work creating a spongy version of this shapeable goo that could be fabricated into gigantic sheets that soak up only oil, but not water. This would be perfect for cleaning up that gigantic oil slick, otherwise known as the Gulf of Mexico.
Too bad it's not ready right now, guys. Regardless of the method those BP experts use to clean up that gigantic mess now creeping its way across the Gulf, it's going to take a lot of time and effort to do it. Maybe this Aerogel stuff will be ready to mop things up a couple of years from now.
But even if they did have this Aerogel sponge substance ready, what would they do with all that oily goop after they've soaked up all the petroleum? They would squeeze it out of the Aerogel and put it in tankers, and sell it to us oil-thirsty consumers.
Another big problem is the magnitude of this oil-spewing volcano that has so far proven itself to be unstoppable. Just take a look at the first video BP released of this underwater gusher belching oil and gas a mile beneath the surface of the Gulf and the unsuccessful effort to stop the flow: