Sponges

Sponges also known as Porifera are primitive and colonial organisms; they have a variety of forms, sizes and colors and live stuck to the bottom of the sea.

Their surface is porous and soft; it allows water to enter and be pumped into the interior filtering system to extract food and oxygen, and to leave the body again through the exit pores.

The main food of sponges consists of microscopic plankton and organic particles that are present in the water.

Our Cuban seas contain a great diversity of sponges adorning the marine environment with their colors and forms.
Frequently they are touched by people that enter their domain during a diving activity; usually this does not cause any damage.

Nevertheless in the case of species like Tedania ignis and a few others, in contact with the human skin they introduce spines, causing burning pain, reddening of the skin, numb feeling in the fingers, etc.

In this case, the spines must be removed using adhesive tape; if necessary, some antiseptic and other medications can be applied.

The best prophylactic measure is to avoid all contact with sponges that we don't know or to use gloves as protection.