Sneeze by Sneeze, Sponges Fill the Seas With Their Mucus

Written By

Anupriya Jain

Sea sponges, some of the oldest living organisms, expel what looks to be a deep sea sneeze in order to remove trash. Time-lapse video was used to film it, which may help people know how sponges grow.

As per Jasper de Goeij's research, sneezing is an ability sponges have to keep themselves clean. Sea sponges are primitive, multicellular, brainless creatures that have existed for around 1/2 bn yrs.

In a study, researchers recorded two species of sponges — the Caribbean Aplysina archeri and a species of the genus Chelonaplysilla, letting out mighty sneezes by contracting their entire bodies. 

To be clear, Goeij said, "Sponges don't sneeze as humans do. Their sneeze takes around half an hour to finish. But, he said, "Both human and sponge sneezes function as a waste disposal mechanism.

Sea sponges are filter feeders, meaning they snag particles like plankton and bacteria from the water for nourishment. However, a sponge's pores can get clogged with the muck they don't eat. 

The sponges spit out to expel substances they cannot digest. This process has long been recognized in the scientific world. A sponge is filled in ostium, which are tiny, porous spores like chimneys.

A sponge's trash might be a fish's treasure. In the study, researchers observed fish and other animals feeding off of the sponge's recently sneezed-out mucus.