Discoveries That Were Named After Pop Culture (For Good Reasons)

Turns out science nerds are watching the same shows as the rest of us.
Discoveries That Were Named After Pop Culture (For Good Reasons)

Being a scientist is probably really boring, with about 99 percent of your time spent staring at whiteboards and ironing your lab coat. Making an amazing new discovery is a rare, spectacular moment, is our point. So when a smart person sits down and thinks up a name for a thing nobody's ever seen before, it's a very big deal.

So it's all the more surprising when a scientist picks a modern-day pop culture reference as the textbook, forever name of their Important New Thing. But they do just that. For example:

The Tritonia khaleesi, a boneless little sea slug with a pale, slender body, was named after Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea. According to the scienti
A bee called the Chilicola charizard possesses similar facial features to Charizard from Pokemon. While other bees have yellow snouts, the species has
Bob Marley's song, High Tide Or Low Tide, made him namesakes with a pretty hairy spider known as the Desis bobmarley. Being one of the few that live
The Vibranium Fairy Wrasse got its name because its glowing purple scales reminded the researchers of the Black Panther's suit. Its scientific name,
The Eriovixia gryffindoris spider is named after one of the oldest characters in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The odd-looking spider is shaped
Metallica gladly welcomed a new member of a different species, the Macrostylis metallicola, into their rock 'n' roll family. ETALICOLK MAICROSTYLIS ET
There's an ant with a spine So dragon-like that scientists called it the Pheidole drogon, after Drogon from Game of Thrones. The ant uses its defined
The Aleiodes shakirae is a parasitic wasp that tortures its host into gyrating its abdomen like a belly-dancing Shakira. When the wasp injects its egg
The Paramonovius nightking is a bee fly that's characteristically similar to a certain villain from Game of Thrones. Like the Night King, the insect o
A grad student named the Kaikaia gaga after Lady Gaga because it has crazy horns and a wacky fashion sense. VID IDE MUS USIC AINIR The treehopper
Chewbacca from Star Wars shares his moniker with a scaled, flightless beetle called the Trigonopterus chewbacca. The beetle has a bulky black body wit
A tiny, harmless organism discovered in a termite's gut was named after H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu monster. The Cthulhu macrofasciculumque has a mass o
A dwarf planet and its moon were nicknamed Xena and Gabrielle (after the warrior princess and her sidekick). The TV show names were never made off
A wrongly-classified pterosaur was renamed Targaryendraco wiedenrothi in honor of the Game of Thrones dragons. The flying reptile had two wings and tw
Scientists discovered a dinosaur fossil that looks just like Zuul, the Gatekeeper of Gozer, from 1984's Ghostbusters. The creature's spiked, sledgeham
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