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Visualizing BP's 2010 Gulf Oil Spill

In the 85 days following the collapse of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, oil spilled into the Gulf at a rate of potentially 50,000 barrels per day before the the well was finally capped. Now that the flow has stopped, better estimates can be made on the total amount of oil spilled during the worst spill in recent US history.

According to the AP as well as calculations done by CNBC.com, an estimate of the total amount of oil spilled is likely between 182 and 184 million gallons.

But how much is 184 million gallons, really? Such massive figures are nearly impossible to visualize. So, how can we truly understand the scope of this disaster?

In order to answer this question, CNBC.com took a look at how this massive volume of lost oil compares to some things more familiar to every day life in order to bring things a little more down to earth.

By Paul Toscano & Paul Alvord
Posted 17 July 2010

Image: Paul Alvord for CNBC.com