Petroleum  

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"The 20th century saw the large-scale exploitation of fossil fuel resources (especially petroleum), which offered large amounts of energy in an easily portable form, earning this era the nickname the Age of Oil. This development also caused widespread global pollution and long-term impact on the biophysical environment bordering on an ecocalypse." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. A fossil fuel, it is formed when large quantities of dead organisms, usually zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and undergo intense heat and pressure.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Petroleum" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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