Deep underwater, oil threatens reefs

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One of the largest coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico lies just 20 miles northeast of BP's ruptured oil well, making it one of at least three extensive deepwater reefs lying directly beneath the oil slick in the Gulf.

The reefs are home to a colony of corals, anemones, fish, crustaceans and other sea life rivaling that of any shallow-water reef in the world.

"The worst-case scenario is that there's oil coating some of the corals," said one researcher. "It would basically suffocate them."

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