Deep-sea explorers may have spotted the world's oldest living animal

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Deep-Sea Explorers May Have Spotted The World's Oldest Living Animal

The largest sea sponge known in the world has been documented in a recently published study.

The organism is believed to be around 12 feet by 7 feet or, as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration describes in an article, "the size of a minivan."

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It was found during one of the agency's deep-water expeditions last year around the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the Hawaiian Islands, according to New Scientist.

As one team member, Dr. Christopher Kelly, told ABC News, "We had just gotten some close ups of some corals, then turned away to continue the survey and the sponge appeared out of nowhere."

He also revealed that it resembled a blanket placed over a chair so they initially called it "the folded blanket sponge."

While researchers do not know how old the organism is, it has been estimated to be up to 1,000-years old and it could be one of the world's oldest living animals.

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