Deep Sea Sponges
This image of deep sea sponges was taken by NOAA researchers from the Okeanos Explorer Program in the Gulf of Mexico. This species of sponge is known as a Venus flower basket glass sponge (Euplectella aspergillum). A small lobster can be seen nestled in between the sponges. The glass sponge gets its name because it is composed entirely of silica in the form of 6-pointed siliceous spicules. This makes it extremely hard and brittle like glass. This species is found attached to rocky areas of the sea floor at depths of up to 3,300 feet (1,000 meters).