Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob of course — and there are many other things we can be certain of: he’s yellow and porous. He is a resident of Bikini Bottom and best friends with Patrick Star. We know who he is: a lighthearted goof with an eye for adventure and a heart of gold. And we know what he is: a sponge. But, technically speaking, what kind is he — sea sponge or dish sponge? Twitter can't quite seem to decide in what has been the SpongeBob sponge debate of 2018.
IMDb describes the show as following the "misadventures of a talking sea sponge…" Fans, though, have disagreed. Writer Celeste Yim tweeted on Monday that she’s always classified SpongeBob as the household cleaning accessory and was shocked to find out that he's a sea creature.
I have only just discovered that Spongebob is a sea sponge? I thought he was maybe a regular sponge with an eclectic lifestyle, like a white man living in Southeast Asia ✌️— Celeste Yim (@celestrogen) May 22, 2018
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In response to her post, the SpongeBob sponge debate ensued, and Twitter became divided.
SpongeBob Sponge Debate: Sea Sponge
First, there was the simple argument that SpongeBob has to be a sea sponge because he breathes underwater. Sea sponges are defined as multi-cellular living organisms, and their scientific classification is "Porifera," which means "pore-bearing." They anchor themselves to coral, rocks and shell beds and survive by filter feeding. To multiply, they grow "buds."
They look like this:
As one user noted, there's proof that SpongeBob is in fact a sea sponge. He shows signs of budding. Though he eats Krabby Patties, SpongeBob appears to be filter feeding in an episode. He also shows signs of regeneration, another trait of a sea sponge (he eats his own hands).
Exhibit A: Filter Feeding— Amar Risbud (@bummer_no_b) May 22, 2018
Exhibit B: Reproduction Via Budding
Exhibit C: Regeneration pic.twitter.com/lyHK0q9K83
One Twitter user pointed out that SpongeBob's parents resemble loofahs. But sea sponges grow in different shapes, colors and textures, so it's not far off to say they also resemble these organisms.
And this is his family - they’re like loofas (tbh I always thought they were cookies as his parents and grandma) pic.twitter.com/klOkyawSp0— Alexis ~ s!xal∀ • im a clarinet-playing nerd ;) ? (@AmazingIex) May 23, 2018
SpongeBob Sponge Debate: Dish Sponge
For those who argued that SpongeBob has to be a sea sponge because he, well, lives in the ocean, Vice’s social media producer raised an interesting point: maybe he didn’t choose to live there.
working theory is dish spongebob and his pineapple were tossed from the same kitchen and he's making the best of it as ocean pollution— Jill Krajewski (@JillKrajewski) May 22, 2018
Fans also argued that whenever he’s out of water, he looks like a dish sponge.
I also concede there are very good pro-kitchen sponge arguments. For instance: pic.twitter.com/9uR1lcybEk— Amar Risbud (@bummer_no_b) May 22, 2018
But this is Spongebob and Patrick on land... pic.twitter.com/qx79PcyIQT— LaToya Ferguson (@lafergs) May 22, 2018
And, in SpongeBob on Broadway, they use dish sponges as props while singing "Just a Simple Sponge."
When it came down to a vote, 72 percent of the 2,121 participants still went the dish sponge route.
We’ve contacted Nickelodeon to settle the score, but consider this: The show’s Wikipedia page describes SpongeBob as an "energetic and optimistic sea sponge who physically resembles a rectangular kitchen sponge." So, what he looks like isn’t necessarily who he is. Like us, the happy-go-lucky cartoon character is defined in so many different ways.