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Olympic-Sized Swimming Pools

If the amount of spilled oil was measured by Olympic-sized swimming pools, it would be enough to fill 279 pools to overcapacity. Connected end-to-end, the pools would stretch over 8.6 miles at a depth of 6 feet, 7 inches.

It would take Michael Phelps - swimming freestyle at the world-record pace he set in Beijing in 2008 - nearly two hours to make it across. However, Phelps likely wouldn't be able to swim as quickly through thick crude oil as he could through clear, fresh water.

Image: Paul Alvord for CNBC.com