Encounters with sponges /FR/ recontre avec l’éponge /ES/ … esponjas

I am not sure why I pay so much attention particularly to sponges. But they mean something to me. Indicate on many observable phenomena. Sponges differ in different locations. When you go for a diving from the beach the bottom starts to be more and more diverse the more distance to the shore you have. And underwater environment changes gradually with the distance and depth compared to rocky bay being a part of a natural reserve where the sea environment is diverse as it is, naturally wild as there is no sand, no access for humans directly etc. On the sandy beach seafloor sponges often look like those you can buy for money in a shop. In 2001 I bought the sponge in a shop in Palma de Mallorca and experienced for the first time in my life this form of life. But when you buy it in a shop it is just petrified skeleton and you can hardly experience that this is kind of an animal. I am not sure if I should admit it because I feel like I did a crime many years ago. I detached from the bottom during one diving in saltwater somewhere in the world a little sponge. And since I brought it after diving to my hotel room I regretted it for many days after. I feel pain recalling this memory because I unintentionally, being not aware enough caused a harm to something I did not regarded fully as an animal ever before. Sponge was bleeding all the time. I was keeping it in a jar but I had to replace water very often and every day it was stinking more and more like a dead animal. Not exactly dead fish! Sponges in rocky environment do not look like those you can buy in a shop in tropical country souvenir shop or a drug store. Those from such a shop look more like those you encounter as single or sometimes in groups when you dive from the beach. But in rocky environment sponges are big, of a very round shape, look more like a big inflated ball although are covered with silt, old crushed shells, plankton and their color is dark brown or dark green-brown. Sponges you can see on sandy bottom near the shore are dark yellow colored, rarely covered so much with all sea remnants and particles that contribute the quite thick silt cover of a wild sponge like you can encounter in natural reserve.

Why I am so curious, absorbed and fascinated about sponges?

Sponges are simply naturally born, evolved towards being natural environmental water filters across the world. And the more their population shrinks the more it indicates many problems we sometimes do not see directly that exist. There are many sources of pollution and so few natural born cleaners underwater. Their disappearance in my own opinion speaks for the invisible damage of natural environment that becomes too toxic for their survival. Another problem is „fishing” / picking up sponges for sale. It looks wonderful in a shop. But when you know how it grows, how it is attached to the bottom, rocks. When you try to rip off a sponge from the rocky bottom it feels as if you ripped off the skin from the body… Really unpleasant experience if you are a highly sensitive person.