New breed of ‘hardcore’ deep sea snails named after The Clash’s Joe Strummer

The Alviniconcha strummeri were discovered by scientists in California

A species of deep sea snail has been named after Joe Strummer of The Clash.

The Alviniconcha strummeri were discovered by scientists at California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and were named after Strummer due to their similarity in look to early Clash fans. The creatures are one of five new species unearthed and can be found living 2,000 metres beneath the surface of the ocean.

Speaking in a paper published in the journal Systematics and Biodiversity, via The Guardian, researcher Shannon Johnson said: “Because they look like punk rockers in the ’70s and ’80s and have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon.”


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“The name highlights the ‘hardcore’ nature of alviniconcha snails, that inhabit the hottest, most acidic and most sulphidic microhabitats at Indo-Pacific hydrothermal vents. The name also recognises the surface of Alviniconcha shells: the spiky periostracum resembles the fashion of punk rock bands.”

Only strummeri have been named after a figure from the music world, the other four new alviniconcha species took their names from places including research facilities and gastropod experts.

2014 has been a notable year for animals named after musicians with a new breed of bat paying tribute to Ozzy Osbourne, John Lennon’s tarantula and an extinct water pig with ‘tactile lips’ named after Mick Jagger. Meanwhile, a strain of acne believed to cause bacteria was named after Frank Zappa.