Who knew that Bikini Bottom was beneath the Atlantic Ocean all along?
Though there weren’t any dome rock or pineapple house in sight, marine scientists may have just found the closest resemblance of Spongebob Squarepants and his pinheaded pal Patrick Star in the wild.
200 miles off the coast of New York, divers caught a rare glimpse of a yellow sponge and a pink sea star just casually hanging beside each other atop a rock at an underwater mountain called Retriever Seamount in the Atlantic Ocean during a survey mission on Tuesday.
A team of researchers from NOAA (National Oceanic at Atmospheric Administration) identified the deep-sea duo as the Hertwigia sponge and the Chondraster starfish while surveying the seamount aboard the remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) sent out by NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer.
One of them, scientist Christopher Mah, gleefully shared a snapshot on Twitter.
“I normally avoid these [references]..but WOW. REAL LIFE Sponge bob and Patrick!” Mah shared on social media laughingly.
Talking to Insider, Mah said that the serendipitous sighting was the most accurate one yet, as previous comparisons to the comical underwater pair were often inaccurate.
“I thought it would be funny to make the comparison, which for once was actually kind of comparable to the iconic images/colors of the cartoon characters,” said Mah, who noted that the bright color of Spongebob and Patrick were more exaggerated than their real-life counterparts. “As a biologist who specializes in sea stars, most depictions of Patrick and Spongebob are incorrect.”
Mah also made aware that Spongebob’s box-shape rarely resembled the Hertwigia sponge in the wild, which can take on various shapes and textures.
As for the the starfish, some may be saddened to know that, according to Mah, their proximity in the picture may not be fueled by friendship, but by hunger, as the carnivorous Chondraster actually feeds off of creatures like the Hertwigia.
Nonetheless, Nickelodeon was happy to take notice of the extraordinary discovery, exclaiming on Twitter that “the resemblance is uncanny.”
Now if we can just find a real-life Squidward and Mr. Krabs working together.