In this video from CNN, hop on board the world's largest oil skimmer, "A Whale", to get a firsthand look at the massive ship that is awaiting approval from the Coast Guard to begin contributing to the Gulf oil spill cleanup operations. ABC World News reports that the retrofitted cargo vessel can capture 300,000 to 400,000 barrels of oil per day, effectively accomplishing in two weeks what 500 skimming boats have done in two months.
"A Whale" is 10 stories tall, the width of a football field, and as long as almost four football fields. It's large size would require it to have a half-mile clearance on all sides. It is equipped with large slits, called "Jaws", that pull oily sea water into the ships hull, where it filters out the oil and disperses the water back into the ocean.
The large skimmer is awaiting approval before commencing cleanup operations in the Gulf for a variety of reasons, including questions about safety and environmental concerns.
WATCH on board the world's largest oil skimmer: