A Spiky New Punk Rock Snail Named After The Clash’s Joe Strummer

by Owen James Burke


Photo: Shannon Johnson/MBARI

If you were a marine scientist and you came across a deep sea snail living — and thriving — around scorching, acidic hydrothermal vents, what name might you give it? Shannon Johnson and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) decided on A. strummeri, after the late, great Joe Strummer of The Clash fame (and much, much more).

“Because they look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s and they have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment,” says Johnson, “we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon.”


Though they all look fairly similar, scientists identified five new snails in all, and reclassified another. Photo: Shannon Johnson/MBARI

A. strummeri is about the size of a golfball and can be found at depths down to 11,500 feet, however, it’s not the first species to be named after a celebrity. Frank Zappa has a jellyfish named after him and Bob Marley has a crustacean parasite that was given his namesake, but that’s not really all too fitting, is it? Then, of course, there’s Lady Gaga’s entire genus of plant, and Beyoncé’s fly.


Photo via Pinterest

It all seems a bit weird, and by the looks of it this snail is more reminiscent of Sid Vicious if we’re going for dead British punk rockers, but I can imagine Joe Strummer having loved the sea, and at least “This gets people excited about science,” says Johnson.

Read more at the Santa Cruz Sentinel — OJB

Facebook Comments