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Fehr reports the earliest case of a retained foreign object in 1859. At a time before the textile industry, a sea sponge was lost in a wound. Sea sponges have been mentioned in the works of Homer and Aristotle. Since antiquity the Greek isle of Kalymnos was renowned throughout the Mediterranean for its sea sponges and trained deep sea divers. For centuries the divers relied on their ability to hold their breath under water, before technological advancements like the harpoon or the scafandro became available.

The Kalymnian sponge has shaped the island's people and traditions for centuries. Kalyspo is the portmanteau word reflecting this ancient way of life of divers retrieving sponges from the Mediterranean sea bed and the scafandro logo an allegory to technology aiding them in their quest.