Noisy Shrimp Named After Pink Floyd

Pistol shrimp's bright-pink claw makes such a loud sound it'll blow your mind
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2017 12:15 PM CDT
Noisy Shrimp Named After Pink Floyd
The newly named shrimp.   (Eureka Alert)

If you've ever been blown away by Pink Floyd, you'll get why scientists just named a similarly thunderous crustacean in its honor. Per a post in the Zootaxa journal, a species of pistol shrimp with an intensely colored red-pink claw, found in the Pacific Ocean near Panama, has been named Synalpheus pinkfloydi after the British psychedelic-rock band. At least two of the report's authors say the group is one of their favorites. Oxford University's Sammy De Grave says he's been listening to Floyd since The Wall came out when he was 14, while Arthur Anker of Brazil's Universidade Federal de Goias says he often cranks up the band's tunes as "background music" when he's toiling away on all things scientific, per a press release.

The shrimp, also known as a snapping shrimp, boasts a large, brightly hued claw that would give Floyd drummer Nick Mason some competition: When the shrimp quickly slams the claw shut, it creates what's called a "cavitation bubble," which creates a blast of sonic energy so powerful it can actually kill small fish. That factored into the researchers giving the shrimp what Gizmodo says is "the best name ever." The shrimp—closely related to the Synalpheus antillensis species, also with a glowing claw—isn't the first to pay tribute to famous musicians: There's a spider named after David Bowie, a jellyfish named after Frank Zappa, and a parasitic wasp named after Shakira, per the Dodo. (Stephen Hawking is also apparently a Pink Floyd fan and helped them out on an album.)

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