“Artificially created to remove oil spills, a bacterium has begun to eat everything living around.” Headlines like this were not uncommon at the beginning of the last decade, and there were reasons for it. Has an artificially created monster named “Cynthia” developed to deal with the oil pollution of the Gulf of Mexico, began to attack living beings, including people?
This story is highly controversial. To believe in it or not, it is rather difficult to determine how many percent of the truth is in it. This is a sensitive matter, as it concerns the entire planet and every person, if this story has any basis. It can even cause panic, so there is reason to hide this information from the public.
In 2010, a colossal oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, on a South Korean-made semi-submersible oil platform of ultra-deep drilling, owned by British Petroleum, which could not be dealt with for several months.
From April to September 2010, at least five million barrels of oil leaked. The hydrocarbon patch occupied an area of over 100,000 square kilometers, destroying all life within its borders. Moreover, such an amount of viscous substance changed the circulation of oceanic waters of different temperatures, which led to the damping of the warm Gulf Stream and extremely unpleasant climatic changes in Europe.
British Petroleum also found itself in a catastrophic financial situation: in addition to direct losses, it was necessary to compensate for the damage from the environmental disaster, as well as the economic losses of the fishing industry and tourism. By early 2013, BP’s payouts on these grounds had reached $27 billion.
And then there was Cynthia
And then they allegedly decided to use an artificially created bacterium, called Cynthia. It was supposed to “consume” all the oil, and then self-destruct. It’s hard to imagine that, of course.
This microorganism (Mycoplasma laboratorium) was bred at the American Institute of J. Craig Venter, a pioneer of genetic engineering during the first decade of the 21st century.
Twenty scientists led by Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith managed, by juggling the chromosomes of the parasitic bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, to derive the so-called “minimal bacterial genome”, called the Cynthia bacterium – an artificial organism with a completely computer-designed genome, which consists of special chains of “watermarks” and does not contain, like all other living organisms on Earth, natural DNA. Among the features of Cynthia is the ability to process crude oil quickly and efficiently, while actively multiplying.
In 2011, Cynthia was launched into the Gulf of Mexico and things started to go well: oil slicks really began to decrease before our eyes, the area of pollution began to decrease rapidly.
Cynthia switched to living organisms
In nature, there are similar organisms that are “responsible” for cleaning, but they work rather slowly. Cynthia, on the other hand, multiplied very quickly and the process accelerated at times.
So, this bacterium was possibly thrown into the place of an ecological disaster and began to devour oil. However, after eating the oil spills, Cynthia did not self-destruct as expected, but mutated into a carnivore and the bacterium spread to living organisms.
Cynthia’s “work” is credited with the mass death of fish in the New Orleans area, the death of a huge number of birds in Arkansas. Also, 130 oil spill workers reported to hospitals complaining of ulcers of unknown origin. They even wrote that the bacterium caused lesions in bathers who ventured into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
All allegedly, both in humans and in animals, they found the same lesions: ulcers on the body and internal organs, causing unstoppable bleeding, which became the cause of death.
Supporters of the theory of using Cynthia to eliminate oil spills believe that Cynthia and the Gulf Stream set off to travel around the planet from the Gulf of Mexico, hitting the Arctic and Alaska. It is believed that it is such a small organism that it can spread with precipitation. Moreover, they said about Cynthia that there was nothing to destroy it as it was not afraid of antibiotics.
If there is some truth in this, then it can get into any body of water on the planet and destroy all life.
However, it must be said that since 2014, rumors about this bacterium have subsided. We are not yet seeing the mass death of living beings, from which there is no escape, as rumors about this bacterium promised.
The conclusion can be simple – for the sake of a penny, compared with the scale of a possible planetary catastrophe, economy, the transnational giant BP and the newly-minted “Doctors Moreau” quite likely let the genie out of the bottle: nature has not created anything like an artificial bacterium, respectively, there is no compensatory antidote against it.
The bacterium’s team, and it was certainly created, say that Cynthia was only an experimental sample which was not at all intended to deal with an oil spill, and was never released into the environment. The stories about the “blue death”, as Cynthia was also called, are openly laughed at.
Whether to believe or not in the existence of a dangerous bacterium in the ocean cannot be unambiguously decided. What do you think?