Doesn’t this amazing sea sponge look like an Eames moulded plastic chairs? We can’t say for sure it was the design duo’s inspiration, but we do know that until it was recently rediscovered, scientists thought “Neptune’s cup” was extinct.
I love it when scientists rediscover a species they once thought was gone forever, especially one that mothers once used to bathe their children! The giant Neptune’s cup sponge hadn’t been seen for 100 years, but was recently spotted off the coast of southern Singapore.
The species was first discovered in 1822, and because they are so large and unusual they were prized by collectors and over-harvested and assumed to be extinct in 1908. Now two of the massive sponges have been spotted 50 meters from one another by biologists with the environmental engineering firm DHI Water and Environment.
Sponge expert Lim Swee Cheng, author of the book A Guide to Sponges of Singapore, helped identify the creatures. “My heart skipped a beat when I saw it in Singapore waters this year,” Mr Lim recently wrote on his Facebook page.
Luckily there was a mid-century-modern chair handy where he could sit down for a moment! [Scientific American]