Giant Arctic sponges feed on extinct ecosystems

Sponge gardens are growing on underwater Arctic volcanoes, deep beneath the sea ice.

Top down view of sponges on the sea floor, covered with sea stars
German scientists discovered a surprisingly rich ecosystem on the peaks of extinct underwater volcanoes in the Arctic deep sea. These were dominated by sponges, growing there in large numbers and to impressive size. Credit: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / PS101 AWI OFOS system/ Antje Boetius