Magnets do a lot for us. The keep motors running, power flowing, they even keep photos stuck to our refrigerators. Now, some people are claiming that they are the key to cleaning up the oil spills that keep messing up our oceans.

The scientists behind the new tech come from Fermilab, and they believe thatt hey have come up with one of the first truly environmentally-friendly ways to soak up all the spilt oil without the need for chemicals.

The idea is actually quite simple. Just sprinkle ground magnetite (The mineral, not a the Pokemon) onto the spilled oil. It naturally binds to the oil, making it magnetic. Then, they just need to run their magnetic wands through the water, sucking up all of the oil.

Along with the wands, Fermilab plans to create a series of containment booms which will collect the magnetized oil and draw it into a container with a magnetized base.

Once the oil and magnetite are contained, the magnetite sinks to the bottom, leaving oil which is completely clean and ready for use.

Source: INhabitat