If you’re a fan of the popular animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants, you might find this photograph of undersea wildlife particularly interesting.
At the ocean’s bottom, SpongeBob and Patrick clones have been discovered by a research vessel.
According to NPR, the absurd encounter took place while the Okeanos Explorer research ship, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was roughly 200 miles off the US Atlantic coast and submerged at a depth of 1885 meters (1.17 miles).
Christopher Mah, a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History and a partner with NOAA, was viewing the camera feed when he noticed the yellow sponge and pink sea star close to each other, which made him think of SpongeBob and his best buddy Patrick.
“I normally avoid these [references], but WOW,” Mah Tweets. “REAL LIFE Sponge bob and Patrick!”
SpongeBob and Patrick are rivals in the real world because sea stars devour sponges, despite the fact that they may be closest friends in the animation.
According to Mah, “In all likelihood, the reason that starfish is right next to that sponge is because that sponge is just about to be devoured, at least in part. The reality is a little crueler than perhaps a cartoon would suggest.”
Here is the camera feed where Mah saw the famous pair:
The Okeanos Explorer was engaged in a month-long exploration of the deep Atlantic Ocean waters known as North Atlantic Stepping Stones.