Scientists discover largest sponge known in the world in Papahanaumokuakea

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*** Video: NOAA Office of Exploration and Research/Hohonu Moana 2015 ***

A sponge close to 12 feet long and 7 feet wide was found at a depth of 7,000 feet within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

That’s about the size of a minivan and scientists say it’s the largest know sponge in the world.

The sponge was documented last summer during an expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer that was exploring deep-water habitats using remotely-operated vehicles at depths ranging between 2,300-16,000 feet.

While not much is known about the lifespan of sponges, some massive species found in shallow waters.

Scientists from NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA’s Office for Exploration and Research and the University of Hawaii published the study in the scientific journal Marine Biodiversity (The largest sponge in the world?).More information:

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