While recently conducting ocean research in the area of New England Seamounts, a team of scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spotted a sponge and sea star resting together on a stone at the bottom of the ocean. The scene left them amazed as the pair looked just like real-life versions of SpongeBob and Patrick, characters from the cult animated show SpongeBob SquarePants.
Christopher Mah, one of the researchers, immediately noticed the similarity and shared an image of the sighting with his Twitter followers.
The post quickly went viral, receiving thousands of retweets and likes. It even reached the team behind the SpongeBob SquarePants official website, who shared Mah’s photo alongside a screenshot from the show in order to highlight the incredible resemblance.
In an interview with Live Science, Mah said that he immediately recognized the animated duo when he saw the scene. He also shared more info about the two sea creatures.
“The sponge is [in] the genus Hertwigia, and the sea star is [in] the genus Chondraster,” said Mah before revealing that the pair are unfortunately not the best of friends in real life like they are in the animated show.
“This species of starfish has been observed feeding on sponges. And it is possible that this may have happened after the camera stopped rolling,” he added.