Here’s an intriguing under-the-sea wildlife photo that will surely catch the attention of SpongeBob SquarePants fans. A research vessel has discovered real-life creatures resembling SpongeBob and Patrick at the ocean’s depths.
According to NPR, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Okeanos Explorer research ship was approximately 200 miles off the Atlantic coast of the US. They were using a submersible equipped with a live camera at a depth of 1885 meters (around 1.17 miles) when they had the amusing sighting of the SpongeBob and Patrick look-alikes.
Christopher Mah, a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History and a collaborator with NOAA, was monitoring the live camera feed when he noticed the yellow sponge and pink sea star positioned next to each other. The sight immediately reminded him of SpongeBob and his loyal companion Patrick.
— Christopher Mah, @email@example.com (@echinoblog) July 27, 2021
“I typically steer clear of these kinds of references, but WOW,” Mah tweeted. “REAL LIFE SpongeBob and Patrick!”
That’s an interesting fact! In the real world, SpongeBob and Patrick are not friends; they are actually enemies. Sea stars, like Patrick, feed on sponges, similar to how they eat in their natural habitat.
Christopher Mah explained to NPR that the reason the sea star (similar to Patrick) is positioned next to the sponge (similar to SpongeBob) is likely because the sea star is about to consume the sponge, at least in part. In reality, the relationship between these creatures is a bit harsher than what a cartoon might portray.
Here’s the camera feed that Mah spotted the iconic duo in:
Indeed, the Okeanos Explorer was conducting the North Atlantic Stepping Stones expedition, aimed at exploring uncharted deep-sea regions in the Atlantic Ocean. Throughout the journey, NOAA scientists collected vast amounts of images and data from June 30 to July 29, 2021. However, none may have garnered as much attention and virality as this lighthearted shot of the SpongeBob and Patrick look-alikes at the ocean’s depths.