Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick look-alikes found at the bottom of the sea

·2 min read

Deep in the blue sea, about 200 miles from New York City, marine researchers spotted a squarish, bright yellow sea sponge next to a pink sea star – and they sure look like SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star.

The SpongeBob-like sponge belongs to the genus Hertwigia, although it's bright yellow color is uncommon, marine scientist Christopher Mah told Business Insider. Deep-sea creatures usually are bright orange or white.

The sea star is known as a Chondraster and is characterized by its five arms covered with tiny suckers. Chondraster stars can appear dark pink, light pink or white.

"I normally avoid these refs," Mah said on Twitter, but the pair did look like "REAL LIFE Sponge bob and Patrick."

A deep-sea vehicle discovered the sponge and star near an underwater mountain called Retriever seamount, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration blog post. The mountain is about 200 miles off New York City's coast.

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NOAA sends remotely operated vehicles to livestream images of creatures below the Atlantic Ocean's surface.

The real-life version of the beloved cartoon isn't as wholesome as it appears. Mah said the Patrick-like sea star saw the sponge more as prey than a friend.

"Here is Chondraster feeding on a sponge! (not the yellow "Spongebob" one though)," Mah tweeted with a link to footage from a previous expedition.

The BBC noted starfish are carnivores that feed on sponges: "Yikes! Be careful Spongebob!"

Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star look-alikes found by NOAA

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