Since April 20, when BP's Deepwater oil rig sort of, well, exploded
and began pumping millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, ruining ecosystems and coastlines in the worst spill in history, a number of solutions have been attempted. They've tried sticking a giant dome over the pipe and pumping it full of garbage, for example, but a 21-year-old girl from Long Island may have come up with a solution that can actually work.
It helps that Alia Sabur is a genius -- she began work on her engineering PhD at the age of 14 and become the youngest college professor in the history of America at the age of 18, and now she thinks she's got the answer to our problem
. She calls it the "seabed retread," and it involves stuffing the leaking riser with a pipe surrounded by deflated tires, then inflating the tires.
Although the tires might not be able to inflate completely inside the riser, it should be able to stem the flow of oil, which could then be redirected into a new pipe, she figures, according to calculations she sketched out on a piece of paper in typical genius fashion.
Alia was reading before she could walk, had moved on to novels by the age of two, and was playing in an orchestra by 11. She's currently working on a doctorate in engineering from Drexel University, and although she hasn't gotten her idea to BP yet, she hopes they'll consider it if their efforts fail, even though it doesn't involve writing angry letters to Twitter
or flooding the Gulf with golf balls