General Question

PerryDolia's avatar

How did all that oil get down there?

Asked by PerryDolia (3458 points ) August 3rd, 2009

We are supposed to believe that oil is compressed vegetative matter from eons ago.

Does this mean there was a jungle that had rocks fall on top of it? If the jungle was slowly covered with dust or sand, wouldn’t it desiccate?

How did that jungle get so far underground?

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14 Answers

Zendo's avatar

I think oil is some sort of lubricating ooze which is naturally occurring and whose job it is to lubricate the Earth’s fault lines. Have you noticed the increased frequency and magnitude of earthquakes worldwide since we began seriously extracting oil starting back in the 1900s?
Slippage is normal for the Earth at these fault lines, but with proper lubrication, the earthquakes would be far less severe.

Fred931's avatar

Dead animals and plants + lots of heavy things on top of that + heat & pressure = black gold. If you are going to explain this to a 5-year-old, this is the best response. Say “Because.” if they ask any subquestions.

Harp's avatar

Most of the world’s petroleum deposits were formed in sea beds as animal and vegetable matter settled to the bottom and were mixed with clay-like inorganic silt particles. These were in turn covered by more and more silt and organic sludge, creating the pressure conditions necessary to turn the organic material into oil, and the silt into sedimentary rock. Many of those ancient sea beds are now dry land.

marinelife's avatar

The plants did not include jungles (land plants tended to form coal deposits), but algae and other plant detritus settling in lake and sea bottoms. Sediment then forms over the top of it.. Heat (from pressure) over time changes it.

The jungle would have been above ground at the time, but new layers of dirt and rock formed through the millennia.

@Zendo Could you please mark your bullshit answers as such?

Zendo's avatar

@Marina Doesn’t seem to need marked. If you would like to come up with your own ideas rather than be bound by what others believe, I will not call you bullshit. LOL…You must feel threatened to resort to such bad manners. Perhaps there is more truth in my hypothesis than you care to admit.

marinelife's avatar

@Zendo Not a chance that your responses would be threatening.

The site, however, is not a poll site or an opinion site, it is a Q&A site. The questioner was interested in a serious answer.

As to you finding what I said bad manners, I just call it like I see it. I happen to think it is bad manners to post disingenuous answers for some personal gratification scheme of your own.

mrentropy's avatar

There was somebody else suggesting that oil was created by bacteria and was, possibly, still being created now. I can’t find any links to that theory, though. Looking for it, though, shows that some scientists are trying to create bacteria that will make crude oil.

@MrGeneVan Thanks for that link. I haven’t seen a vintage Ms. Peach in eons.

Response moderated
gailcalled's avatar

@Zendo: If you’re going to insult Marina (not a very good idea at Fluther), it’s la de dah.

Zendo's avatar

My bad!

Fred931's avatar

Lah tee da, lahdeeda, Feliz navidad…

mea05key's avatar

@Zendo

LMAO. creative answer..haha

Response moderated

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