Species Resembling SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star Spotted Off New York Coast by Ocean Researchers

Sadly, unlike the cartoon, these underwater species are not friends in real life.

During an expedition to uncover parts of the Atlantic ocean that have not yet been explored, something caught the eye of one researcher watching the live feed. 

Chris Mah couldn’t help but notice two species, one yellow and one pink, seemingly hanging next to each other that reminded him none other of SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star.

“Yeah, when we saw them, the colors matched perfectly,” the research associate at the Smithsonian National Museum of National History said.

“So I was like, wow, that's like real life Patrick. And then SpongeBob.”

But he says in real life, the species’ relationship is nothing like the cartoon. While the show portrays them as buddies, Mah says they are not friends.

“We've seen that sea star feed on sponges before. Um, you know, that's a predator of sponges. So, um, you know, obviously SpongeBob wouldn't like their best friend munching on them on a regular basis.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says they were spotted 200 miles away from the coast of New York and over a mile below the surface in cold water.

And they may even be new species.

“Anything that draws attention to the deep sea and how unexplored it is and all the new things that we're learning each time we go out and explore, I think is a huge benefit to the community,” says Kasey Cantwell, Chief of Operations of NOAA Expeditions and Exploration Division

A community that sometimes looks familiar, but we’re learning, is more foreign than we think.

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