These giant volcano sponges in Antarctica are thought to be the world's oldest living animal, at 15,000 years old

Frekish Point Dec 6, 2018

This type of volcano sponge is one of the largest and can be up to 6.5 feet in height and 4.5 feet in diameter. It is also one of the most difficult to study and understand, given that it can be found at a depth of anywhere between 49 and 472 feet.


A lot of what is known about this organism is based on early studies conducted in the McMurdo Sound region. It was named after Louis Joubin, a professor at France’s National Museum of Natural History in Paris. The extremity of the cold habitat slows down all biological processes, leading to increased longevity.


The pear-shaped sponge is usually white or pale-yellow and its interiors are often home to a number of smaller creatures like amphipods, isopods, and polychaete worms. Research has found that the sponges grow at a minuscule rate, which is nearly unobservable.


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