Discover the sharks that call sponges home
You know how SpongeBob lives in a pineapple under the sea? Well, hold onto your square pants because these real-life sharks have a home that’s just as quirky—they’re kicking back in sponges! No nautical nonsense here, just pure oceanic awesomeness.
Photo Credit: CSIRO
The Accidental Discovery
Ichthyologist John Pogonoski, a zoologist studying fish, was exploring sponges in the deep waters off the coast of Western Australia. He was not expecting to see the tail of a banded sand catshark sticking out of one of the sponges! Turns out, there was an entire catshark family happening inside the sponge—up to 30 of these petite predators in just one sponge!
We know SpongeBob likes his pineapple for its coziness, but why would a shark choose a sponge? These catsharks are tiny, only about a foot and a half long, making them susceptible to bigger predators.
Helen O’Neill, another fish scientist, thinks that the catsharks use these spongy sanctuaries to hide during the day, giving them a cozy nook where they can avoid becoming shark snacks themselves. They then venture out at night to look for food.
The Win-Win Relationship
You may be wondering, do the sponges get any benefits from this? These sharks could be acting as tiny security guards for the sponges, munching on potential sponge-eaters.
Our ocean is like a treasure chest (no, not the Flying Dutchman’s)—always filled with surprises! With over 530 species of sharks, who knows what other underwater shenanigans are going on. So here’s to the thrill of discovery and the wacky, wonderful world under the sea. As SpongeBob would say, “I’m ready, I’m ready” for whatever comes next!