Written by Mikaela Montanari
For thousands of years, humans have relied on natural resources in everyday life and hygiene. The sea sponge is no exception! In Faith Warn's book, Bitter Sea: The Real Story of Greek Sponge Diving
, she discusses how:
"Images of sponges have been found on Greek pottery remains, as a depiction of opulence and as a status symbol. Homer lists sponges as hygienic tools in the Iliad and the Odyssey, while Aristotle makes reference to an elephant nose-like tube that divers used to use when fishing for sponges. A number of Roman writers, such as Cicero, allude to the use of sponges for personal hygiene. Each Roman soldier was equipped with a marine sponge for precisely the same purpose."
Like all natural resources, humans have a learning curve in which we discover the harms of over-harvesting and individual species management can have on nature. But with proper management, sea sponges have a slew of untapped medicinal, hygienic, and filter cleaning properties that can significantly impact the planet and human health. (Read More)