Real-life ‘Spongebob’ and ‘Patrick Star’ seen on seafloor
(Gray News) - He’s not in a pineapple under the sea, but he is bright yellow.
A sponge resembling the Nickelodeon character Spongebob Squarepants was captured on video by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer alongside a sea star resembling Patrick Star.
Christopher Mah, a marine biologist who specializes in sea stars, posted a photo of the doppelgangers last week on Twitter.
Mah told NPR it is possible the sponge took on a bright yellow hue because the sea star right next to it was threatening to devour it.
It turns out, in real life, sponges and sea stars aren’t best friends. Sea stars like to eat sponges.
He also told NPR that sponges aren’t typically shaped in a square like Spongebob Squarepants, who looks more like a kitchen sponge than a real sea invertebrate.
The duo’s image was caught during a live feed of the seamount dive of the 2021 North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition about 200 miles off the Atlantic coast.
The July 27 dive where the iconic photo was captured took place at Retriever Seamount, which is one of four seamounts within the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
The expedition was studying the poorly understood depths to get a better understanding of the remote habitat.
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