Sponges have a very simple anatomy, and don’t form tissues or organs. But Hexactinellid, or glass sponges also boast some of the most complex skeletons known to science, far stronger than any feats of human architecture. These creatures use intricate arrangements of tiny needle-like shards of silica (known as spicules), layered with glue, to create their reinforced cage-like skeletons.
These unique skyscrapers of the sea provide excellent homes and make great nurseries for a wide range of fish, crustaceans, and other organisms. As a very slow growing species, glass sponges are particularly vulnerable to destruction by bottom trawling. These crocheted specimens are happily safe from harm in the window of The Loop, in downtown Halifax, where they serve as habitat for a growing swath of crafted critters.