Who Lives in A Pineapple Under the Sea?


Above - SpongeBob SquarePants character (Wikipedia)



Are you ready, kids?

Aye, aye, Captain!

I can’t hear you!

Aye, aye, captain!

Oh!


During a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dive at a depth of about 1.2 miles, marine scientists from NOAA (see below) discovered a real life SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star!



Above - SpongeBob and Patrick Star are best friends and neighbors, living under the sea in Bikini Bottom city.


Below - The real-life SpongeBob and Patrick side by side at the Retriever Seamount. (Image credit: NOAA Ocean Exploration/Christopher Ma)



"SpongeBob” (the yellow glass sponge) and “Patrick” (the pink sea star) were found one next to the other. These two animals might actually be new (i.e., undescribed) species!


“SpongeBob” is a glass sponge. Its bright yellow color is unusual for deep-sea animals, which are often white or orange. Glass sponges are animals commonly found in the deep ocean. Their tissue contains glass-like structural particles, called spicules, that are made of silica (hence their name). “Patrick” is a sea star - many sea stars in the deep ocean are predators of sponges and corals.


But, unlike the cartoon, the real “SpongeBob” and “Patrick” are not best friends. Actually it looks like “Patrick” is feeding on its yellow “friend"............



Video of a yellow sponge (genus Hertwigia) and pink sea star (genus Chondraster) collected during Dive 19 of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition. Images of the pair have captured the attention of the public and the media due to their resemblance to the cartoon characters SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star. Video courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration,



NOAA - (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) - provides data, tools, and services that support coastal economies and their contribution to the national economy.


ROV - Remotely Operated Vehicle - is a machine that is used to explore the deep ocean with someone controlling it at the water's surface. ROVs allow us to explore the ocean without actually being in the ocean. They have cameras (still and video), lights, water sampler, and other instruments.



VIDEO: What's the difference between an AUV and an ROV? Here's what you need to know in one minute. NOAA

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