If this were a movie, it would be too unbelievable. Since it's real life, well…it's even more unbelievable.
Ready for this one? We may have Kevin Costner to thank for solving the Gulf Coast's oil spill crisis. Of course, Mr. Dances With Wolves isn't working alone. James Cameron and Robert Redford are also lending some much needed (albeit curiously qualified) hands to the cause…
Here's the deal: Earlier this month, Costner unveiled an oil-cleaning device to which he has devoted 15 years and $24 million to a mightily impressed and, let's be honest, somewhat flabbergasted, public. Costner came up with the device, which basically filters oil out of water—novel idea, huh?—while filming Waterworld.
(He purchased the technology, first developed by the Department of Energy after the disastrous Exxon Valdez spill.)
This week, since it has no other ideas, BP OK'd preliminary testing on "the Costner solution." The company and the U.S. Coast Guard will test six of the oil separators next week.
"It's not anymore about talk," Costner said this month while unveiling the project his team of scientists have spent the better part of two decades finessing. "It's about doing the walk, and that phrase was probably invented down here."
And lest you think Costner is just the bizarrely-chosen face of this project, think again.
"Yes, Kevin is a star, but he took his stardom and wrote all the checks for this project out of his own pocket," business partner and Louisiana attorney John Houghtaling told the Los Angeles Times.
Still confused? You're in good company. Well, company.
"It certainly is an odd thing to see a 'Kevin Costner' and a 'centrifugal oil separator' together in a place like the Gulf of Mexico," Stephen Baldwin, who himself is making a documentary about the oil spill, told the paper.
Yeah, almost as odd as seeing a "Stephen Baldwin" and a "documentary about the oil spill" together in one place. His funding alone boggles the mind.
"But, hey, some of the best ideas sometimes come from the strangest places."
Like, say, the biggest movie of all time?
Cameron has also offered up the use of his underwater vessels should they prove helpful in cleaning up the environmental disaster, while Redford has pitched in to help, too, appearing in a commercial for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is hoping to use the horrific disaster as a wake-up call for the government to get real on finding and using clean energy sources.
Check out who else is doing their part in our celeb Do-Gooder Gallery!