by BD Mitchell
One hundred facts that are interesting but ultimately useless.
- biology -
While natural cleaning sponges are often made from the skeletal structures of actual marine animals from the sponge family (phylum Porifera), the traditional loofah is not. Loofahs are actually obtained from the cucumber-like fruit of the luffa plants (most commonly Luffa aegyptiaca). Luffa fruit are only edible before they are ripe -- when they are fully matured, they consist mainly of seeds inside a thick, fibrous system of cellulose strands. Drying the ripe fruit will remove any remaining flesh and seeds, leaving only a rough, durable mass that can then be used as a cleaning sponge.