Monday Funday: Sponge Porn!

No, I’m not talking about Sponge Bob or any of his pals! I’m talking about sponges, the real sponges growing on the ocean floor. They are always beautiful, of course, but I had the thrill recently of seeing them spawn!

At first I thought it looked like those ocean vents in the very, very deep ocean, the ones that are smoking with heat from the earth’s core…then I realized, it is sponge sex! Sponges have both eggs and sperm, and can reproduce either way. As to why a sponge decides to send out sperm to fertilize other sponge’s eggs…it is a mystery too deep for me to solve! Here are some gorgeous sponges and enjoy the dive video!

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Sponges on Brain Coral

coz 07 hand sponge

A Hand Sponge!

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Sponges grow everywhere!

coz 10 jan pal pinn sponge fingers

Gorgeous sponge fingers, or tubes.

coz creatures jul 06 fire coral

Encrusting Orange Sponge

coz vb 12 parrot camo and sponges of color

Barrel sponges and sponge fingers…see the parrot fish hiding?

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You never know what you will find in a sponge barrel!

coz caves 12 b sponges

coz dec 11 fran finger sponge and brain

coz vb 12 parrot camo and sponges

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Some sort of spawning activity…I’m not sure what, though.

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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (20)

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  1. I have so many questions: Are they self reproductive? Is there another sponge involved? Is it that one sponge ‘sends out’ sperm (for instance) into the water in the hopes that it reaches another sponge that accepts it? Is the cloudy water full of the sperm/eggs? Is the cloudy water warm or are we just seeing a more dense viscosity?
    Cheryl Nicholl recently posted…10 Reasons For THANKFUL: Sort ofMy Profile

    • Tam Warner says:

      A sponge decides to be male or female (not sure why), and if male, it sends out a cloud of sperm/spawn and it will land on a sponge elsewhere who has decided to lay eggs. The cloudy water is not warm, just sending its reproductive material to another receptive sponge who will then fertilize their eggs. The zygote will stay in mom for a little while, then will be released into the water column and will be plankton for a while. The ones that land on the reef will grow into sponges! Pretty cool, eh?

  2. Beautiful images. And very “steamy” sex scenes! If only I had the nerve to do more than merely snorkel, I’m sure I would be mezmerized by the magical world of our ocean’s floor.

  3. Tam, this post made me laugh out loud. I’m kind of wondering what Cheryl’s wondering but I really would rather not know. WAsn’t it wC Fields who objected to water because “fish fuc k in it”?

  4. Well, I always learn something new from you! Who knew all of that was going on deep down below the surface?! Gorgeous photos, as always.

  5. Too funny! An original take on sea life… one I won’t soon forget! 😀
    Lisa at Grandma’s Briefs recently posted…Gift idea: Brief book reviews of 7 super books for kidsMy Profile

  6. Whew! I need a cigarette! Ha! Tam, I so enjoy your photos and the vicarious thrill of following along on your adventures. Thank you for another great trip.
    Kimberly XO

  7. Carolann says:

    Another wow! I just love these vids. Sponges are magnificent! What an exciting adventure. The colors are amazing!

  8. Sheryl Kraft says:

    I am absolutely mesmerized by these photos (and some of the comments, too! 🙂

  9. Roz Warren says:

    Only you would come up with a post like this. Loved it. It’s so weird and vivid. I’m still smiling.

  10. Mar says:

    Stumbled across your blog from Helene in Between… I am a Marine Educator, so I am in love with all of your adventures and photos!

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