Sponges for Sale
Of the 15,000 species of sponges known, only six species are considered marketable (able to be sold). This is because the skeleton of these sponges are composed of a flexible, yet durable spongin tissue and these species contain no hard spicules.
Sponges found in the Mediterranean Sea are considered the best; they are followed by the Red Sea sponges, and then the West Indian sponges. Sponges are found throughout the world's oceans and also in freshwater. There are many areas throughout the world that harvest sponges and sell them to consumers.
The natural bath sponge which is the sponge industry's most popular product is actually the skeleton of the living sponge. Yes, this sounds rather gross, but it's true! The living tissue of the sponge is allowed to decompose. Then, the skeleton is dried, washed, bleached, and sometimes dyed; resulting in the smooth, flexible, absorbent sponge that many of us like to use in our bathrooms or kitchens.
Although modern technology is improving the quality of synthetic (man-made) sponges, the natural sponge is hands-down the best. The natural sponge's characteristics, such as firmness, endurance, absorption, absence of harmful static electricity and its chemical structure, ensure that natural sponge will continue to be the king of the sponge industry.
Sponges are no longer just used for body and face cleansing, but are being used for delicate art restorations, and production or restoration of fine pottery, porcelain, leather, and wood workings. Sponges are also finding a way into the science and medical laboratories of the world. Scientists are attempting to determine the how sponges are able to reconstitute themselves, even when their cells are separated into a suspension. Also, the medical laboratories are interested in sponges because of a chemical they contain which may be able to kill cancer cells found in humans. (See our web page on this subject)