An international team of researchers has discovered species of pistol shrimp has been discovered off the Pacific coast of Panama that they promptly named Synalpheus pinkfloydi after the famous prog rock group Pink Floyd. The new species got its name because of the loud, sonic blast it uses to stun its prey and the fact that it has one large pink claw.
It’s not the first animal recently discovered to receive names based on pop culture and political icons. Eriovixia gryffindori is a spider named after one of the founders of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and a blond-colored moth with small genitals was recently jokingly named after, well, the name Neopalpa donaldtrumpi should speak for itself…
Pinkfloydi uses its huge, pink claw to create one of the loudest sounds known in the ocean. Up close, it’s actually louder than a gun shot. It snaps at an extreme speed to create a high-pressure cavitation bubble that produces a sonic blast, reaching 210 decibals, when it collapses. This is enough power to render their prey comfortably numb.
Incredibly, the collapsing bubble very briefly creates a temperature of 4,400 degrees Celsius – almost hotter than the surface of the sun.
“I often play Pink Floyd as background music while I’m working, but now the band and my work have been happily combined in the scientific literature,” the lead author Arthur Anker noted about the choice to name the shrimp after Pink Floyd. Other members of the team also consider themselves fans.
“I have been listening to Floyd since The Wall was released in 1979, when I was 14 years old,” explained zoologist Dr Sammy de Grave. “I’ve seen them play live several times since, including the Hyde Park reunion gig for Live8 in 2005. The description of this new species of pistol shrimp was the perfect opportunity to finally give a nod to my favorite band.”