Kevin Costner's Waterworld-Inspired Ocean Therapy Device May Actually Help Clean Gulf Oil Spill

It looks as though Kevin Costner's Waterworld wasn't a complete and massive waste of time and resources after all. While he was working on that film, Costner paid scientists millions of dollars to develop a device that could do what his fictional character's invention could do in the film: purify ocean water. Working prototypes of the device actually exist, which Costner has dubbed "Ocean Therapy." Now, with the approval of the Army Corps of Engineers, British Petroleum has given the go-ahead for Costner to test six of his devices to help clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf.

First, a little bit of background on the spill. The result of an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig, the Gulf oil spill is currently sending over 210,000 gallons of oil into the water per day. British Petroleum have been trying everything to slow down the rate of spillage. In fact, some of their solutions have sounded pretty, well, silly. As usual, no one breaks the situation down better than Stephen Colbert.

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Costner's machines use centrifuge technology to separate oil from water, rendering the water 97% pure. "It's like a big vacuum cleaner," explained one of Costner's business partners. Costner, a longtime environmentalist, was glad that his invention would finally be deployed, but saddend at the occasion. "We've moved this to a technology that we know works, and has worked for a long time," Costner said, "It's prepared to go out and solve problems, not talk about them." He added: "I just [am] really happy that the light of day has come to this, and I'm sad about why it is. But this is why it was developed, and like in anything that we face as a group, we all face it together."

According to the New York Daily News (via Erin Equill's Twitter) "Costner has 300 machines in various sizes, with the largest able to clean water at a rate of 200 gallons per minute." Below is a news report that contains a demonstration of Costner's invention.