NewsCovering America

Actions

Researchers discover underwater sponge gardens living near the North Pole, previously unheard-of

Alfred Wegener Institute
Posted at 6:38 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 17:33:21-05

Researchers have discovered a previously unheard-of 300-year-old sprawling sponge ground under the cold ocean waters not far from the North Pole.

The natural sponge gardens were found growing on extinct volcanoes called seamounts. The sponges were first discovered by researchers in 2016, but the findings were just published by the research journal "Nature Communications" on Tuesday.

Scientists say the ecosystem, which was previously unknown, has given them new evidence that these sponges can live in more unexpected places.

The researchers say they observed the sponges using "refractory dissolved and particulate organic matter" as part of their survival.