Wikipedia for the Weird: List of organisms named after famous people


Even Simon (Avalanchurus simoni) and Garfunkel (Avalanchurus garfunkeli) have their own fossils.

Sometimes what’s been deemed “verified” on Wikipedia seems too strange to be true. In Wikipedia for the Weird, the Daily Dot tracks down the most bizarre and entertaining entries on the Web’s crowdsourced encyclopedia, sending you down the rabbit hole even further.


Ugh, as if famous people didn’t already have all: money, power, and success. They also sometimes have obscure organisms named for them. That’s right, those nerds who discover new creatures are actually given the power to choose a new bug’s (or whatever) official name. The future of the living world could rest on a beetle named for Liv Tyler.

Why Liv Tyler? Because “the existence of this species of elegant beetle is dependent upon the rainforest not undergoing an Armageddon.” And Liv Tyler starred in 1998’s Armageddon, which was arguably more about the dimple in Ben Affleck’s chin than a plausible Armageddon.

But thanks to these scientists, whose musical tastes range from Jerry Garcia (Crypotocerus garciai) to Frédéric Chopin (Fernandocrambus chopinellus), we have a plethora of familiar-sounding creatures. Have you come across a Trilobite fossil recently? Well, it could’ve been any of the four Ramones brothers (Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and C.J.): They each have their own. Both Simon (Avalanchurus simoni) and the lesser-respected Garfunkel (Avalanchurus garfunkeli) have their own fossils as well.

Turns out, not all fossils, beetles, spiders, and moss are named because a scientist’s wife likes “The Only Living Boy In New York.” Some are named because the creature resembles a celebrity—in action or in appearance. Take, for example, Scaptia beyonceae: “The horse fly was named after the singer and actress because of its striking golden behind.” Or Preseucoila imallshookupis? Read that nomenclature one more time. It’s an Elvis wasp!

The Talk page, meanwhile, is not feeling this breathtaking list at all. It’s too much of a list, someone complains, and there’s just too much red (that means the links go nowhere *gasp*) “Furthermore,” NEMT notes, “should people like Plato and Dante be considered ‘celebrities’?”

Harsh words, but this dissent means that much like some of the organisms listed, this page might soon be extinct

Wikipedia for the Weird: Inventors killed by their own inventions
In her new column, Lindsey Weber examines the curious case of James Heselden, Li Si, and Thomas Midley, Jr. 
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