6 Organisms Named After Musicians
    • WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017

    • Posted by: Robert Steiner

    Believe it or not, but science can actually be pretty damn cool. Yes, while Neil DeGrasse Tyson is and always will be one of the smoothest mofos in the scientific community (so badass he's gotten into frickin rap beefs), there are also plenty of ridiculously smart scientists who, get this, are actually pretty cool people. Not only that, but some researchers find a way to work their music fandoms into their professions, naming newly discovered organisms after some of the best bands and artists of all time. Here are 6 particularly awesome examples of plants and animals adopting names after some of our favorite musicians.

    1. PINK FLOYD - Synalpheus pinkfloydi

    The most recent discovery on this list, this species of shrimp have giant, pink claws that they can snap open and shut so hard that the noise can reach up to 210 decibels, aka louder than most nosebleed sections at rock concerts. The sound alone is loud enough to straight-up kill small, nearby fish, which is apparently another parallel to the band: Legend has it that they played an outdoor concert at such high volumes that the noise killed a bunch of fish in a nearby pond. It honestly doesn't get more rock n' roll than that.

    2. SHAKIRA - Aleiodes shakirae

    We all know Shakira for her the fact that her hips always tell the truth, and her belly-shaking dance moves were apparently on the minds of the scientists who discovered this parasitic wasp in Ecuador. The tiny beastie is apart of a unique subgroup of wasps that inject their larvae into live caterpillars. Once injected, the larva slowly kills the caterpillar by eating it alive from the inside, and then uses the caterpillar's hollowed body as a cocoon until it hatches. A side effect of the slow and painful death is that the host caterpillar bends, twists, and gyrates like a certain Latin superstar. It's a bit dark, but who says scientists can't have a dark sense of humor?

    3. JOE STRUMMER - Alviniconcha strummeri

    In their scientific paper, the researchers literally described the discovered snail as being "hardcore" in nature: They live in only the hottest and most inhospitable microhabitats within Indo-Pacific hydrothermal vents, and their shells are covered in spikes that would put most mohawk-rocking punks to shame. So who better to represent the deep-sea punk enthusiasts than one of the original and coolest punk rockers himself, Joe Strummer? The Clash frontman was as sneering and jaggedly charismatic as they came back in the day, so if this spiky little mollusk that hangs out in death saunas didn't have enough cool cred already, it definitely does now.

    4. BEYONCE - Scaptia beyonceae

    Along with her many awards, multi-platinum albums, and generally being one of the most successful artists of the last ten years, Beyonce also has another little-known honor to be proud of: Inspiring the name for a horsefly with a bootylicious backside. Slightly more specifically, the flys behind is covered in striking gold hairs, making your eyes gravitate immediately toward its lower half before you notice anything else. While we all love Bey for her music, theres no denying that we also love her for showing off what shes got better than anyone in the music biz, so it only seems fitting shed inspire the name for a fly that also turns some heads.

    5. JOHNNY CASH - Aphonopelma johnnycashi

    Just like Cash, the male spiders of this species are often dark colored by the time they reach maturity, matching the country icon's unmistakable dress code. But if that's not enough reasoning for you, get this: This species of spider largely inhabits the area near Folsom Prison, California. For those who don't know, Folsom Prison was where Cash performed and recorded one of the greatest live albums of all time, where he also sang that one tune of his about shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die. In other words, there was no choice but to name the eight legged bug in black after the Man in Black himself.

    6. LADY GAGA - A whole lotta ferns

    Lady Gaga has always been about doing things to the extreme or not doing them at all, so when a group of Duke scientists and full-time Little Monsters discovered a new type of fern, they weren't going to give Gaga just one plant. They went and named the entire freaking genus after the pop star chameleon. That's 19 species of ferns that fall under the Gaga classification, as they all share a highly uncommon DNA sequence that contains the word "GAGA." In other words, it's literally in these plants' DNA to be Gaga fans...they were born this way. 'Nuff said, mic drop, we out.

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