Tarpon Springs, Florida: Spongeorama
See the movie, wander the museum, and learn about our blobby squishy friend, the natural sponge. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [11/18/2012]
What happens when a deep sea diver ascends too quickly, then spends 45 years in a display at the free Sponge Museum? A photo collage. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [11/18/2012]
Visitor Tips and News About Spongeorama
Although the owner showed us the movie, and the building was open, the diorama/museum part was closed when we were there around December 20, 2014. I had called first to ask if they were open, but you need to ask, "Is the entire museum open with the dioramas, etc.?" The owner said they'd be re-opening some time after Christmas (I wanted to jump the rope to get into the museum to see the dramatization of the victim of "the bends").
The movie is a hoot -- it reminded me of a Roger Corman sci-fi flick -- but it was informative. The people are very nice there.
Tarpon Springs is a quaint little harbor town; a day trip is definitely suggested. They have lots of restaurants and gift shops. You can see the boats with sponges drying on lines. The people were very friendly. There were beautiful mosaic tile scenes of sponge divers.[Kim G., 01/04/2015]
A museum populated by aging mannequin dioramas that demonstrate random acts of sponginess. Walk through it alone, I dare you; it's scarier than any haunted house.
The first mannequin isn't doing much for women's lib; her job is to display how to deliver a husband's lunch. She is, however, unintentionally missing a hand and partially scalped (though her hipster glasses still make her look pretty).
Soon after there's a display full of... well, it doesn't matter, because I couldn't look past the wooden frame being devoured by termites.
Then there's the famous "Sponge Diver's Nightmare" -- a display of a diver mannequin dying from the bends. But let's be frank, the real "nightmare" is the mannequin's unfortunate fate of being trapped in this museum, slowly deteriorating, with no end to its tragic existence in sight.
This place is fantastic. Run, don't walk, get there now.[Geo, 08/10/2014]
For decades Spongeorama has inspired both fear and fascination among those who visit it. We hope it never changes.
The Spongeorama dioramas are currently closed to the public. We were told some fundraising will be done to refurbish them, and there are hopes they will be reopened within the next year. The movie is still being played, and sponges can be purchased.[Stephanie C., 01/01/2013]