Sponges are marvelous creatures. They’re animals, although they look more like plants. They come in many different colors, and there are over 5,000 species of sponges inhabiting both fresh and salt water. They live in oceans and lakes from the polar regions to the tropics, but they are most abundant in warm waters.
In recent years, compounds derived from sponges have become useful in cancer-fighting drugs and in medicines that help prevent the rejection of transplanted organs. More important is what they do for the oceans, lakes, and even rivers where they grow. A sponge will take in several hundred gallons of water per day using whip-like flagella to make a strong current. They filter the water, removing 90% of the bacteria. It’s the bacteria that the sponge eats, returning the cleansed water to the outside.
The beautiful, clear water we see in many places in the world is due largely to the sponges that clean it. They are an exquisitely designed, essential part of the water world we all depend on and enjoy. That design is a reflection of the wisdom of the Designer.
© Roland Earnst