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The Ick is a fungus that is highly contagious, and only appears in the episode "Fungus Among Us." The Ick is a lime green colored mulch type thing with unknown ingredients. To get de-icked, inhabitants of Bikini Bottom had to pay Mr. Krabs 5 dollars to get the ick off with Gary the Snail.


The marine fungus has been shown to be persistently regenerating a new amount of fungus whenever a location on the host has little fungus on it. It develops slower when growing to spread but extremely fast to replace any that is lost. As evidenced by SpongeBob, the ick pays little attention to clothes as they were clean compared to the filthy sponge. The fungus was most likely able to distinguish non-biological material from hosts. Only one method of spreading is known: physical contact. In some cases, it spreads if a small amount can go through the water onto another host.

One major symptom is an extreme amount of itch as SpongeBob irresistibly scratches his infected head. This symptom appears to take effect after a while, but SpongeBob began scratching almost immediately. Another is the presence of the green fungus.

With a stubborn structure, the fungus cannot be removed easily by scratching, soap, and many other methods. Only Gary was capable of removing the entire substance for a brief moment.


The ick (parity to the plague) is a contagious sea disease that snails like Gary the Snail find good to eat. It first infected SpongeBob and made his skin extremely itchy, but he still went to work anyway, and infected everyone else. That was until Gary ate the ick off of everyone.

Characters That Received The Ick

Real Life Fungus

Spongiforma Squarepantsii

Spongiforma squarepantsii

Spongiforma squarepantsii is a species of fungus in the Boletaceae family, genus Spongiforma. Found in Malaysia, it was described as new to science in 2011. It produces sponge-like, rubbery orange fruit bodies that have a fruity or musky odour. The fruit bodies reach dimensions of 10 cm (3.9 in) wide by 7 cm (2.8 in) tall. Like a sponge, they will resume their original shape if water is squeezed out. The spores, produced on the surfaces of the hollows of the sponge, are almond-shaped with rough surfaces, and measure 10–12.5 by 6–7 micrometers.

The name of the fungus is derived from the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. S. squarepantsii is one of two species in Spongiforma; it differs from S. thailandica in its color, odor, and spore structure.

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis

This is one of the two real life icks. This one is known for affecting freshwater fish. The marine version is called Cryptocaryon (also known as marine ick). This ick and the marine ick are very similar to the one in SpongebBob.


This is the marine version of the ick. Although this one is more dangerous affecting the fish' eyes, fins and skin.

External links

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