Sponges are an animal, they are classified in the phylum Porifera and can be found in almost all salt water seas. Unlike most animals, sponges generally are immobile, although they do have a few tricks to get around. Some seem to creep tiny, tiny distances (up to 4 mm per day) while others hitch a ride by attaching to the shell of more mobile creatures.

Even though a sponge is a creature, not an aggregate of creatures like coral it is held together so loosely it can be shaken apart. It is not considered to have separate types of “tissues”.1

Sponges eat and oxygenate by tiny flagella which wave and move huge volumes of water (and the tiny creatures and oxygen carried in the water) through the “nooks and crannies” which all lead to a central open spot where wastes exit. Some sponges filter up to 90% of the bacteria in the water, others feed more on other organic matter or have symbionts such as green algae that contribute nutrients. One type of sponge captures small crustaceans and engulfs them with cells that then digest them.

Sponges reproduce using all sorts of strategies. Sexually the are hermaphrodites and produce eggs and sperms at different times. Sperm is spewed out of one sponge and then sucked into another sponge where it meets up with eggs. They also reproduce asexually producing buds, which break off and develop into new sponges. 2

Sponges were historically harvested by very dangerous practices. This resource said 50 % of Greek sponge divers died on any given trip up to the mid 60s when conditions improved considerably. Many of the problems were economic, the boat owners pushed the divers into dangeorus practices. Another was nutrition, they ate scant and stale food and water. One of their survival practices was to use sponges that they harvested to filter their rotten water. 3

Sponge divers are a great tourist attraction in the gulf coast of Florida.

1) http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/aqfm/1998/jan/wb/default.asp
2) http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/porifera/porifera.html
3) http://www.kalymnos-isl.gr/webweaver/info/sponge/human_story.html
spoiler space = S = spoof

sponge n.

[Unix] A special case of a filter that reads its entire input before writing any output; the canonical example is a sort utility. Unlike most filters, a sponge can conveniently overwrite the input file with the output data stream. If a file system has versioning (as ITS did and VMS does now) the sponge/filter distinction loses its usefulness, because directing filter output would just write a new version. See also slurp.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.


Fig.: One who lives upon others; a pertinaceous and indolent dependent; a parasite; a sponger.


Thank ye kindly, Webster_1913.


The properties of a sponge, by A. Spuunj.

The mask, it clings. Years upon years of falsehood and pleasantries pleasantly packaged for mass consumption. I am the genuine one; the sincere, helpful voice. You will listen because I am honest; you will trust because I am worthy of it. You will expose yourself and I will absorb all that you release, bouncing back very little but enough for you to believe I am here. I thrive on you and your misguided faith.

I spin lies and twist the truth. Genuine? What do you see that is genuine? Stare into my eyes, talk to me, listen, and tell me you believe what I say. I am a lie, your dream lie, because the world wants the lie, and they allow me to be the lie, the lie I choose to be. I am nothing but the lie. The truth I present is, in truth, a lie.

You, your beauty and the love you wish to share, are misguided. Turn away. Find yourself some truth, something real in the world, something genuine. Find someone. I will smile my false smile and weep inside where weeping is meant to remain. You will probably find your truth as seekers of truth find it, sooner or later. I have never been in search of truth, and only seek what it takes to get by.

Oh, and Web? You missed one:


7. a. Informal A glutton. b. Slang A drunkard.

Sponge (?), n. [OF. esponge, F. 'eponge, L. spongia, Gr. , . Cf. Fungus, Spunk.] [Formerly written also spunge.]

1. Zool.

Any one of numerous species of Spongiae, or Porifera. See Illust. and Note under Spongiae.


The elastic fibrous skeleton of many species of horny Spongiae (keratosa), used for many purposes, especially the varieties of the genus Spongia. The most valuable sponges are found in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and on the coasts of Florida and the West Indies.


Fig.: One who lives upon others; a pertinaceous and indolent dependent; a parasite; a sponger.


Any spongelike substance.

Specifically: (a)

Dough before it is kneaded and formed into loaves, and after it is converted into a light, spongy mass by the agency of the yeast or leaven

. (b)

Iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition

. (c)

Iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.

5. Gun.

A mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon after a discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with sheepskin with the wool on, or cloth with a heavy looped nap, and having a handle, or staff.

6. Far.

The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, answering to the heel.

Bath sponge, any one of several varieties of coarse commercial sponges, especially Spongia equina.
-- Cup sponge, a toilet sponge growing in a cup-shaped form.
-- Glass sponge. See Glass-sponge, in the Vocabulary.
-- Glove sponge, a variety of commercial sponge (Spongia officinalis, variety tubulufera), having very fine fibers, native of Florida, and the West Indies.
-- Grass sponge, any one of several varieties of coarse commercial sponges having the surface irregularly tufted, as Spongia graminea, and S. equina, variety cerebriformis, of Florida and the West Indies.
-- Horse sponge, a coarse commercial sponge, especially Spongia equina.
-- Platinum sponge. Chem. See under Platinum.
-- Pyrotechnical sponge, a substance made of mushrooms or fungi, which are boiled in water, dried, and beaten, then put in a strong lye prepared with saltpeter, and again dried in an oven. This makes the black match, or tinder, brought from Germany.
-- Sheep's-wool sponge, a fine and durable commercial sponge (Spongia equina, variety gossypina) found in Florida and the West Indies. The surface is covered with larger and smaller tufts, having the oscula between them.
-- Sponge cake, a kind of sweet cake which is light and spongy.
-- Sponge lead, or Spongy lead Chem., metallic lead brought to a spongy form by reduction of lead salts, or by compressing finely divided lead; -- used in secondary batteries and otherwise.
-- Sponge tree Bot., a tropical leguminous tree (Acacia Farnesiana), with deliciously fragrant flowers, which are used in perfumery.
-- Toilet sponge, a very fine and superior variety of Mediterranean sponge (Spongia officinalis, variety Mediterranea); -- called also turkish sponge.

-- To set a sponge Cookery, to leaven a small mass of flour, to be used in leavening a larger quantity.
-- To throw up the sponge, to give up a contest; to acknowledge defeat; -- from a custom of the prize ring, the person employed to sponge a pugilist between rounds throwing his sponge in the air in token of defeat. [Cant or Slang] "He was too brave a man to throw up the sponge to fate." Lowell.<-- now, through in the towel is more common, and has the same origin and meaning. -->
-- Vegetable sponge. Bot. See Loof.
-- Velvet sponge, a fine, soft commercial sponge (Spongia equina, variety meandriniformis) found in Florida and the West Indies.
-- Vitreous sponge. See Glass-sponge.
-- Yellow sponge, a common and valuable commercial sponge (Spongia agaricina, variety corlosia) found in Florida and the West Indies.


© Webster 1913.

Sponge, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sponged (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sponging (?).]


To cleanse or wipe with a sponge; as, to sponge a slate or a cannon; to wet with a sponge; as, to sponge cloth.


To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; to efface; to destroy all trace of.



Fig.: To deprive of something by imposition.

"How came such multitudes of our nation . . . to be sponged of their plate and their money?"



Fig.: To get by imposition or mean arts without cost; as, to sponge a breakfast.



© Webster 1913.

Sponge, v. i.


To suck in, or imbile, as a sponge.


Fig.: To gain by mean arts, by intrusion, or hanging on; as, an idler sponges on his neighbor.

E. Eggleston.

The fly is an intruder, and a common smell-feast, that sponges upon other people's trenchers. L'Estrange.


To be converted, as dough, into a light, spongy mass by the agency of yeast, or leaven.


© Webster 1913.

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