Oil Seeping from the Sunken USS Arizona at the Memorial

Oil from the USS Arizona

When you visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, it’s surprising to see the colorful oil spots hovering on the harbor waters surface. Isn’t it amazing that even though it’s been over 68 years since the USS Arizona was bombed and sunk to its final resting place, oil continues to leak?

According the the official Web site for the USS Arizona Memorial, the battleship held approximately 1.5 million gallons of oil. It isn’t known how much oil was onboard at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. Per the Web site, “Although the exact amount cannot be determined, the USS Arizona contains an estimated 500,000 gallons (liters) of Bunker-C fuel [oil] within its hull.” The amount of oil that leaks each day varies and ranges from about one to nine quarts per day per location. At that rate, future generations will be able to see these iridescent reminders of the grave loss that lies beneath.

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