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Science of SpongeBob

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A partnership with Nickelodeon

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Let’s explore the Science of SpongeBob!

This World Oceans Day, get ready to explore the underwater world of SpongeBob with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

 Our real-life tidepools and beaches are full of wonderfully weird characters, just like Bikini Bottom. In fact, SpongeBob’s creator Stephen Hillenberg started his career as a science educator on the California Coast, creating the world that would become Bikini Bottom to teach kids about marine biology. NHM scientists are learning new things every day, and they’re ready to help you explore that world using real science!

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Meet the Experts

Bikini Bottom was built with a lot of imagination, but also a lot of science! At NHM, many of our scientists dive into the world of ocean animals, studying everything in the sea from teeny tiny crustaceans to fish of all sizes, and whales, which include some of the largest animals that have ever lived. Meet your guides to ocean life below:


Explore the Science 

SpongeBob and his pals in Bikini Bottom are based on real-life ocean animals. From the ocean floor to your local shore, our NHM marine biologists  want to show you how to explore the world of SpongeBob and how we can all protect our friends in Bikini Bottom. Enjoy these videos and check back for more each week!

Science of SpongeBob Teaser

What’s the real-life Patrick Star look like? How different is the deep sea from Bikini Bottom? How does whale poo help feed the ocean? How do lobsters pee out of their faces? Why do lobsters pee out of their faces? Find out answers to these questions and so much more below!  Dive into a watery world of knowledge with NHM experts and your favorite SpongeBob characters.  


saving our ocean

From invasive species to plastic pollution, the real-life Bikini Bottoms around the world are in a lot of danger these days. Discover what we can do to defend ocean animals!


If you think SpongeBob and his pals are wacky, wait until you learn about the power of whale poo. From pufferfish teeth to lobster pee, explore the wide world of weird living underwater. 


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Did you know? Lobsters can live to be 200 years old and produce millions more eggs than younger lobsters.


Join a Virtual Event

Explore our oceans without worrying about the sunscreen! Or breathing underwater! Join NHM’s experts and educators for some deep dives into the sea from wherever you are. We’ll explore the ocean through a series of events looking at easy-to-access environments like tidepools, NHM’s Mobile Museums and so much more!  Find out what’s happening and sign up below!

Here's what's next…




Dive into the Science of SpongeBob: All About Pearl

Science of SpongeBob FamilyYouth
  • 11 am

Explore the mighty world of whales with Dr. Jorge Velez-Juarbe, NHM's Associate Curator of Mammalogy, and Museum Educator Diana Sanchez! From its large teeth and unique skull shape to its use of echolocation, learn how the real species of sperm whale inspired the character of Pearl!




Dive into the Science of SpongeBob: Swimmin' With the Fishes

Science of SpongeBob FamilyYouth
  • 11 am

Discover some of the spectacularly strange and surprising fishes that swim beneath the ocean's surface–and not just in Bikini Bottom! Join Dr. Bill Ludt, Assistant Curator of Ichthyology at NHM, and Museum Educator Michelle Vanegas as they tackle some fascinating fish facts and explore the various species featured in the SpongeBob universe.

Try it for Yourself

Bring your ocean discoveries home with these activities.

A partnership between NHM and Nickelodeon

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