sciencehabit writes: A maverick scientist who made a name for himself by directing the capping of the more than 500 hundred burning oil wells in Kuwait after the Gulf War in 1991 is proposing a deceptively simple way to plug the gulf oil leak: drop steel balls into the gushing well. If the steel balls are big enough in diameter, their weight will pull them downward even through the upward-rushing torrent of oil and gas. So they'll settle into the well at some deep level and begin to clog it. Two hundred tons of the things should slow the gusher enough that it can then be stopped with a more conventional injection of mud, he says.
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