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BP Cash Creates Oil-Spill Archive Larger Than All U.S. Libraries

pelican tries to clean its wings while standing in the water on an island littered with protective orange and white booms May 27, 2010 near Grand Isle, Louisiana.

pelican tries to clean its wings while standing in the water on an island littered with protective orange and white booms May 27, 2010 near Grand Isle, Louisiana.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Oil wasn’t the only thing that gushed after a well operated by BP Plc exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. There was also a fountain of research.

In the five years since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig disaster, a scientific renaissance has blossomed in the Gulf, with thousands of researchers studying everything from crude-tolerant jellyfish to the thermodynamics of oil dispersion to alligator stem cells.