Johnson et al. (2014)
Alviniconcha strummeri, or better known as the ” punk rock snail ”, is a deep-sea snail that lives in one of the hottest, most acidic environments on the planet in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. Specimens can be found as deep as 11,500 feet beneath the ocean surface gathered in piles near hydrothermal vents, and eating the microbes that mine the chemicals shooting into the water for energy.
Alviniconcha strummeri’s amazing “hardcore” nature as well as its fully spiked shell made a team of scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to name it after a famous punk rocker. That person was chosen to be Joe Strummer, the late lead vocalist and guitarist from the famed British punk band the Clash. The choice was based not only on the singer’s impressive contribution to the punk movement, but also on the fact that he was an environmentalist who strove to be a carbon-neutral artist.
Scientists have not found yet the reason why the punk rock snail’s shell is so spiky; one explanation might be to increase the surface area of the shell, allowing more bacteria to grow on it. However, one thing it’s clear: its look do resembles the fashion of punk rock bands.
Joe Strummer is not the first musician to have an animal named after him. A frog in the Amazon is named after Ozzy Osbourne, an ancient, giant lizard is named after Jim Morrison, a small parasite is named after Bob Marley, a parasitic wasp is named after Shakira, The Ramones each have their own trilobite and the list can go on. This trend seems to be an efficient method for scientists to draw attention to their discoveries.