A close up of one of the impacted corals and an attached brittle star. A small amount of apparently living tissue on some branches is orange. Most of the skeleton is bare or covered by brown flocculent material. The brittle starfish is a normal symbiont of this type of coral, however the bleached white color is not normal.
Credit: Lophelia II 2010, NOAA OER, and BOEMRE, copyright WHOI.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Permission is granted for use of this photo by news organizations for use only in conjunction with stories associated with the research described in the March 2012 press release, titled New Research Reveals Deep-Ocean Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion, posted online at science.psu.edu/news-and-events/2012-news/Fisher3-2012.