3 Insulting Things Named After Famous People

It's not until you reach a certain station in life that people start naming things after you. It's supposed to be an honor, but sometimes famous people end up with their names attached to some truly terrible things. For example ...

#3. The "Lesbian" Worm Named After President Obama

Most American presidents get things named after them after their time in office, and the things are impressively masculine objects like a mighty airport or an entire class of supercarriers. But then, Barack Obama is no ordinary American president.

Globe Magazine
That's not what we mean.

He's already got badass stuff like a mountain and a prehistoric lizard named after him. But he's also got one particularly gross, horrible thing carrying the Obama family name: Paragordius obamai, a parasitic hairworm that's the first one ever found to reproduce through parthenogenesis. That means they are asexual, have female parts, and are endlessly capable of spitting out new hairworms from their hairworm vaginas.

Ben Hanelt, Matthew G. Bolek, Andreas Schmidt-Rhaesa
It's an incredible discovery in the field of making Internet users dry heave.

Some have called the worms "lesbians" for reproducing this way, but the bigger question is "Why name it after President Obama at all?" The worm is found in Kenya, so scientists say it's named for Barack's Kenyan father and heritage, but are they so into the study of disgusting hairworms that they forgot how disgusting hairworms are?

It's such a weird, lousy tribute that it seem like naming this disgusting creature after Obama is a covert insult, either as a birther thing ("Kenyan worm!") or Newsweek's "He's the gay president" thing.

Newsweek
The parasites said so!

#2. A New Zealand Landfill Is Named for John Cleese

Here's what John Cleese said about Palmerston North, New Zealand's seventh-largest city, after he visited in 2005:

Mark Metcalfe / Getty

"We stayed in a little motel, the weather was grotty, the theater was a nasty shape, and the audience was very strange to play to ... If you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick."

Was John Cleese right to call Palmerston North "the suicide capital of New Zealand"? Is it really such a bad town? Hard to say, although the landfill named after him seems to have a lot of junk randomly sticking out of it, and it speaks volumes about your city if even the landfill looks too messy.

stuff.co.nz
Although the sign's looking sharp.

#1. One of Baltimore's Roughest Housing Projects Is Named for Edgar Allan Poe

All of our hometowns change. For most of us, it's our parents moving away or our high school friends marrying each other. But for Edgar Allan Poe, it's a bigger change than that.

Getty
In the 1830s, this was Baltimore's No. 1 Scary Thing.

Baltimore's dangerous reputation can't be too much of a myth if it's the kind of place where Edgar Allan Poe's former home gets vandalized and stripped for firewood. And with over 20,000 public housing residents in the city, they've had plenty of housing complexes to name, and one of them is Poe Homes in West Baltimore.


"Wait, go back to the part about people stripping wood from my house."

Poe Homes are so straight out of The Wire that this streetview tour of the show's locations names them as the basis for the Pit and the Tower. Maybe there's some sense in naming a troubled place after a troubled man. But come on, Baltimore, it's definitely not the kind of tribute an author would seek out.

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