Q: What does SpongeBob SquarePants, the popular cartoon character, have to do with glass?
A: A recent article used the popularity of this cartoon character to draw attention to a report on sponges that actually produce glass. Scientists have found sponges on the ocean floor that build glass cages. They “have biologists and materials scientists oohing, ahhing and taking notes for future bio-inspired engineering projects and materials.”
According to the scientists, these sponges use mechanical engineering principles—just like today’s engineering students study in their textbooks—to make their glass cages. The sponges produce bundles of glass fibers held together with a special glue; these bundles can be twisted and bent without breaking.
As one of the authors put it, “It’s quite remarkable how many basic engineering design principles the sponge uses.”
Instead of being surprised by such a sophisticated level of engineering skill, we should look at these sponges and think about the greatest engineer ever—the Creator God of the universe. He’s the One who designed the sponge to do what it does do—and what it does do, it does do very well!
Want to learn more about these incredible examples of God’s design? See Fantastic fibre-optics—sponge’s super spicules.