The Lyre sponge (Chondrocladia lyra) also referred to as the harp sponge, due to its shape that resembles a harp, is a little bit different and a little more creepy than your average sponge. It has continued to prove the lengths to which nature will go to survive in inhospitable conditions, and it doesn’t get much more inhospitable than 3,000 meters (10,000 ft) below the ocean’s surface.
The lyre sponge is a candelabra-shaped, carnivorous animal that attaches itself to the ocean floor. Long, finger-like extensions protrude from its veins which can vary in number from two up to six. Small barbs on the “fingers” snare passing fish, which are encased in a membrane and digested. To make things a little creepier, bulbs at the ends of these protrusions contain packets of sperm which are released into the current and absorbed by nearby sponges, which swell after fertilization. It has been less than two decades since scientists first discovered carnivorous sponges. Since then, new species are being uncovered regularly.
You just never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve, ya know?
Coffee in the kitchen this morning, due to the rain.