Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fishin' For An Invitation

So yesterday we were talking about fans and how we as fans express affection for our heroes.  There are a lot of loony things people have done over the years.  In the 60s a couple of girls tried to mail themselves to Davy Jones and a fan breaking into the Beatles' hotel room was a major plot point in Robert Zemeckis's I Wanna Hold Your Hand.  Ferdinando Boero has those beat, though.

Boero is an Italian marine biologist and Frank Zappa fan.  As you can read here he managed to get a grant to work at the University of California at Berkley, part of his master plan to meet Frank Zappa.  Yep, you read that correctly.  This guy went to school half way around the world, found a new species of jellyfish and named it after Zappa in a bid to meet him.  Zappa went for it because, well, of course he would.  I mean, how cool is that?  Actually, there are a few other species named after him, too, including a long extinct shellfish (amaurotoma zappa), but Zappa's zoological zenith (hah!) is the Zappa confluentus, a genus of mudskipper goby.  They say that he was honored with a genus because of his defense of the First Amendment in front of the Parents Music Rescource Council hearings, but I suspect it's a sly reference to his song about Led Zepplin, a couple of groupies and (NSFW!!!!! + not for the faint of heart = I warned you) a mudshark.

Zappa isn't alone in having creatures named after him.  Each of the Sex Pistols has a trilobite named for him; Liv Tyler and Kate Winslet both have beetles named after them.  Gary Larson has a biting louse and Matt Groening has a mole crab.  I'm guessing Berke Breathed will be honored when someone actually finds a talking penguin. 

These spiders weren't named after anyone famous but the behavior is, well...see for yourself.



  1. OMG totally had me going at the beginning! That was hilarious.

    And where oh where did you discover all these factoids?!

  2. This started as a post about Gary Larson and "The Far Side" but when I ran into this list on wikipedia it kind of morphed.

  3. Love a good giggle first thing in the morning! Starts the day off right. Thanks for that one.


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