How is a sponge able to hold so much water?

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Natural sponges are simple marine animals that don’t have any organs. Instead, they rely on their huge surface area to absorb oxygen and nutrients and to get rid of waste products.

The flexible skeleton of these sponges (or the plastic equivalent in a synthetic sponge) holds water because the complex labyrinth of dead ends and narrow channels slow the water as it tries to drain away.

Squeezing the sponge compresses the channels and the extra pressure helps  to force the water out more quickly.

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The Petri Dish is malaysia’s first dedicated science newspaper. Through The Petri Dish we aim to engage the public on the latest developments on biotechnology.