Author Avatar

Why SpongeBob is the perfect champion for the Amazon Reef

Posted by Priya Surendra - 4th July 2017

So you might have seen SpongeBob SquarePants waving a placard around telling BP to back off the Amazon Reef and thought: ‘What a minute… what?’

Yeah. It’s not everyday that the world’s most famous sea sponge stands up to big business. But with more than 60 species of sponge living in the Amazon Reef, for SpongeBob, this is personal.

Here’s why SpongeBob is the perfect champion for the Amazon Reef.

1. He’s a seasoned activist

Anyone who’s watched an episode of SpongeBob will know that he’s a pretty progressive sea sponge. From raising awareness about climate change to protesting for workers rights against the wanton greed of Mr Krabs, his determination to defend the Amazon Reef comes from a lifetime spent sticking it to the man.


He’s no stranger to direct action, either. In one episode, SpongeBob starts a campaign to save Jellyfish Fields and when it looks like all is lost, he stands in front of a bulldozer, gets arrested and then mobilises thousands of people to stop the bulldozer before it can destroy the pristine jellyfish habitat.

Needless to say, everyone at Greenpeace is a big fan.



2. His creator is a marine biologist

SpongeBob’s creator is a marine biologist who came up with SpongeBob as a way to teach children about taking care of the ocean. Back in 1984 he wrote The Intertidal Zone, an informative comic book about tide-pool animals which he used to educate his students. It later became the blueprint for the show and thanks to SpongeBob, he won an award for raising awareness about marine life.

Side note: SpongeBob is popular with other scientists, too. A bunch of mushroom scientists, aka mycologists, discovered a species of fungus in Malaysia that produces sponge-like orange fruit bodies and smells ‘musky.’ It reminded them of SpongeBob (because they were familiar with his body odour, obvs) so they named the fungi spongiforma squarepantsii. True story.


3. He lives in a coral reef

Despite looking suspiciously like a kitchen sponge, SpongeBob is a sea sponge and has loads in common with the sponges of the Amazon Reef. For starters, we actually found a yellow, square(ish) sea sponge on our Amazon Reef expedition. A long lost cousin, perhaps? SpongeSteve RectangleTrousers.

What’s more, SpongeBob lives in a coral reef. It’s called Bikini Bottom and can be found below Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. His best friend Patrick is a starfish and his neighbour Squidward is an octopus (despite what his name would have you believe). His boss is a crab and his ‘are they / aren’t they’ love interest is a squirrel dressed as an astronaut who lives in a glass igloo…

Alright, so the similarities don’t extend as far as all that but who knows – we’ve only explored a tiny fraction of the Amazon Reef. There could be a squirrel in an igloo down there somewhere.


4. He’s got loads of followers

If you use the internet you’ve seen a SpongeBob meme. From ‘mocking SpongeBob’ to ‘imagination SpongeBob’, they’re a viral sensation and have become a way for ideas, jokes and cultural observations to travel (warning: they can also be a bit NSFW).

Whilst it would be easy to dismiss memes as trivial, they have an enormous reach and influence. So what better way to spread the idea that BP needs to back off the Amazon Reef than through the bizarro world of SpongeBob memes?


5. He’s determined

According to the encyclopedia of SpongeBob, SpongeBob is ‘an extremely determined person, and will often stop at nothing to accomplish a task.’ That’s exactly the kind of attitude we need to save the reef.

His child-like world view means that SpongeBob approaches everything with extreme enthusiasm, even when the odds are stacked against him. He never gets worn down by the complexities of life or the relentless cynicism of his aquatic compadres, instead dedicating himself to his work and his friends in the belief that a better world is possible.

That’s why SpongeBob is the perfect champion for the Amazon Reef. Because he won’t stop trying until we win. And neither will we.

Join SpongeBob. Tell BP to back off the Amazon Reef.

Article Tagged as: Amazon Reef, Energy, Featured, Forests, Oceans