HI - Meet the very shy, red volcano sponge
Hawaii is home to the the red volcano sponge, and they cover the sea floor on certain reefs, and look like six-inch-tall, mini red volcanoes erupting.
It it is quite an amazing sight to see, but you will need an underwater flashlight because these sponges do not like sunlight and live in the shade of caves, piers, jetties or even in old shipwrecks.
Sponges cover the sea floor in almost all oceans around the world, and some species grow up to 10 feet tall.
You might remember your grandmother talking about cleaning her kitchen with a real sponge. The original sponge used by people was a dried, cut piece of a large sea sponge, and still in more-remote parts of the earth people still harvest sea sponges to be used in their homes.
Sponges clean the sea water, so they are an important part of the reef ecosystem. They are living filters, with no mouth, stomach, gills or organs.
They simply draw water in through small pores, filter the water to remove small particles and algae then expel clean, filtered water back into the sea. Kind of like an air purifier you may have in your home.
At one time biologists thought that sponges were some type of aquatic plant, until they studied them in the lab and realized that they are made of many different types of cells that all operate on their own so they do not have a need for organs like most other living animals.