National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA’s reach extends from the surface of the Sun to the depths of the ocean floor as it works to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them. Its scope ranges from daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce.

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Largest sponge

On 12 August 2015, scientists studying deep-sea ecosystems in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, off Hawaii, USA, captured footage of a sponge that measured 3.5 metres (11 feet 5 inches) long, 2 metres (6 feet 6 inches) high and 1.5 metres (4 feet 10 inches) wide, using two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) during an expedition by NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Although a sample of the superlative sponge was not taken, a specimen from what is thought to be the same species collected in the same area, was determined to be a type of glass sponge from the family Rossellidae (subfamily Lanuginellinae).