By now we have collected experiences from a century of oil production and spills, still the "wheel is reinvented" when a large oil spill happens, like the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Mexican Gulf 2010. In this book professor Arne Jernelöv relates, in non-scientific language, what we have learned about the behavior and effects of spilled oil during many decades, by revisiting some of the major catastrophes and recalling the observations that the people who studied them made at the time. Most of the book deals with biology and chemistry, with some references to technical innovations or failures. But oil spills, like all accidents, don't happen in the vacuum of an unpopulated world. There is always a social context. Four stories at the end of the book illustrate some aspects of this. Professor Arne Jernelöv is an expert in mercury and oil spills. From early 70's till mid-90's he led a large number of international expert groups, mostly on mission by UN-organisations, that on location gave advice on damage control and calculated the scale of the effect of large oil spills.