Around 2010, lizard expert Lee Grismer of California received a call from a colleague in Vietnam, who had been traveling through a small town when he came across a restaurant serving a dish that he couldn't identify. We don't mean he had never eaten it before -- they were literally serving a type of lizard that he was pretty sure no one had ever observed in the wild (if a paper plate at a Vietnamese lizard restaurant can be considered "the wild," which we think it can).
AFP / Stringer / Getty
Behold, the majestic pan-fried gecko.
Grismer couldn't identify it, either, so he caught the first plane out to Ho Chi Minh City in hope of finding and naming a brand new species. He phoned the restaurant and asked if they could reserve him a few specimens, but unfortunately by the time he made the eight-hour trip out there, he found that the restaurant owner had gotten drunk and cooked all of the lizards to serve to his guests. So Grismer would only get to study whatever he could get in a doggy bag.
He'd have had more to study if the damn lizard hadn't tasted so good with barbecue sauce.