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:

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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

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A bee called the Chilicola charizard possesses similar facial features to Charizard from Pokemon. While other bees have yellow snouts, the species has

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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

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The Vibranium Fairy Wrasse got its name because its glowing purple scales reminded the researchers of the Black Panther's suit. Its scientific name,

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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

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Metallica gladly welcomed a new member of a different species, the Macrostylis metallicola, into their rock 'n' roll family. ETALICOLK MAICROSTYLIS ET

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Chewbacca from Star Wars shares his moniker with a scaled, flightless beetle called the Trigonopterus chewbacca. The beetle has a bulky black body wit

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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

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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

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A wrongly-classified pterosaur was renamed Targaryendraco wiedenrothi in honor of the Game of Thrones dragons. The flying reptile had two wings and tw

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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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