A tiny worm-like creature that has been discovered in the Pacific Ocean has been named after legendary American heavy metal band Metallica.
The crustacean lives 16,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. According to Phys.org, the organism, which has no eyes, was discovered in the Clarion Clipperton Zone between Hawaii and Mexico. It grows up to a quarter-inch long.
The organism, now identified as Macrostylis Metallicola, lives amongst manganese nodules. The study was published in the scientific journal PeerJ.
Dr Torben Riehl, a researcher at Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt, and Dr Bart De Smet from Belgium’s Ghent University, conducted the environmental standard study for a prospective nodule mining project.
But why name the discovery after the American heavy metal band? Riehl has an explanation.
“The powerful music of Metallica has accompanied me the majority of my life… I am thrilled to be able to give something back to the band by naming a new species after them!" Riehl was quoted as saying.
Metallica took to social media to share the news with its millions of fans. “We’ve played on all seven continents, made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and now… we’re a crustacean!” read the Facebook post.
"The worm-like creature dwells in complete darkness, has no eyes, and is colorless. Talk about Blackened! It also lives amongst metallic nodules containing cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, and rare-earth elements. So it basically lives in a rock stadium? Now that’s one metal crustacean!" the band further wrote.
Metallica is one of the most popular bands ever.
It’s not uncommon to have species named after rock stars and bands. A tarantula found in New Mexico and Arizona was named after Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine while Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne has a frog — Dendropsophus Ozzyi — to his credit.
Pink Floyd has a damselfly discovered in Africa in 2015 named after it.