A sponge the size of a minivan was found last summer during a deep-sea expedition in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Scientists aboard NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer using remotely operated vehicles to explore some of the deepest areas of PMNM came across the sponge during a dive at a depth of 7,000 feet.
The massive sponge was captured on high-definition video and is close to 12 feet long and seven feet wide. It is the largest sponge known to date.
An article describing the find, titled “The largest sponge in the world?” and authored by PMNM Research Specialist Daniel Wagner and Chris Kelley from the University of Hawaiʻi, was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Marine Biodiversity on May 24, 2016. It can be accessed in its entirety at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12526-016-0508-z.
Read the press release.
See more pictures.