Daniel Wagner, a Papahanaumokuakea research specialist,made the following statement earlier this week about the amazing find from the largest protected conservation area in the United States, Marine National Monument: “The largest portion of our planet lies in deep waters, the vast majority of which has never been explored.. Finding such an enormous and presumably old sponge emphasizes how much can be learned from studying deep and pristine environments”. This shows once again the important value of exploring the ocean’s depths in order to discover unknown and mysterious forms of life.
Scientists were able to take measurements and photos by using remote underwater cameras and laser points mounted on their underwater research vehicle. Samples of this sponge and of another one of the same species were recovered and sent to the world’s top experts. As a testament to the sponge’s rarity, nobody could identify what genus the sponge belongs to. Studies are still carried over so that we can learn as much as we can about this amazing find. One of the researchers, professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography Paul Dayton, declared: “It is incrementally larger than the ones off British Columbia and they might find an even bigger one… Certainly I can agree that this is a very large sponge indeed, the largest I have heard of”. With the help of scientific literature it was proved that this is the largest documented sponge to date.