Researcher Finds 'Real-Life' SpongeBob SquarePants And Patrick Star In The Wild
A researcher has found the Holy Grail of real-life comparisons to animated TV show characters.
Not that marine scientist Christopher Mah was particularly looking for a lifelike version of SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star, but he certainly found it.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration researcher was looking through footage of a recent dive in the Atlantic Ocean when he noticed an unmistakably yellow object.
A remotely operated deep-sea vehicle then managed to capture the bright sponge sitting right next to a pink starfish.
I mean, come on! This is a Nickelodeon match for the heavens.
This real-life duo was found near an underwater mountain called Retriever seamount, which is found about 320kms east of New York City, according to Insider.
Christopher Mah posted the footage on Twitter, writing: "I normally avoid these refs..but WOW. REAL LIFE Sponge bob and Patrick! #Okeanos Retreiver seamount 1885 m."
NOAA's Okeanos Explorer ship has been exploring the deep and dark depths of the ocean to see what lurks that far down and how they survive.
Mah was surprised to see the sponge, which belongs to the genus Hertwigia, sporting a bright yellow hue.
He said sea creatures found at that depth are usually orange or white because it helps them blend in with their surroundings and not end up as another creature's meal.
The star is a Chondraster and, funnily enough, the carnivorous creature usually feasts on sponges like the Hertwigia.
So, while these two creatures resemble the Nickelodeon pals, in reality they would be far from friends.
Mah told Insider: "I thought it would be funny to make the comparison, which for once was actually kind of comparable to the iconic images/colors of the cartoon characters. As a biologist who specializes in sea stars, most depictions of Patrick and SpongeBob are incorrect.
"We have investigated up to 4,600-meter depths [15,000 feet, or almost 3 miles (5km)] and seen a wide range of never-before-seen ocean life, including huge deep-sea corals, many deep-sea fish, starfishes, sponges of which many are undescribed species and thus new to science."
Even more interesting is that there are around 8,500 species of sponge and they've been on this earth for around 600 million years.
The chances of a bright yellow one being next to a pink starfish must be out of this world.
Featured Image Credit: Nickelodeon