From Fantasy to Reality: A Look at Naming Newly Discovered Species After Fictional Characters

News - 6 August 2023

The global influence of popular franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter is undeniable, with millions of fans around the world. However, sometimes fans can take their devotion to these franchises to extreme levels. Case in point: a recently discovered species of fish has been named after a character from The Lord of the Rings.

Professor Ray Schmidt took to Twitter to share the discovery of two new fish species found in the Guinean montane forests of West Africa. The first fish, named 'Chiloglanis fortuitus', is a newly discovered species of sucker armor catfish commonly found in tropical areas of South America. The second fish, however, bears a more recognizable name: 'Chiloglanis frodobagginsi', named after the beloved character from The Lord of the Rings.

This practice of naming newly discovered species after fictional characters is not new. In fact, back in 1983, three fish species were named after Star Wars characters: 'Polemistus Chewbacca', 'Vaderi', and 'Yoda'. The trend of naming species after characters from popular culture continues to this day, as evidenced by the naming of 'Chiloglanis frodobagginsi'.

The naming of species after fictional characters adds an element of fun and creativity to the scientific community. It also serves as a reminder of the impact that popular culture has on various aspects of society, including the field of biology. By giving these newly discovered species names that resonate with fans of franchises like The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, scientists are able to connect with a wider audience and generate interest in their research.

The discovery of 'Chiloglanis frodobagginsi' has captured the attention of fans and scientists alike. The unique naming of this fish species has sparked conversations about the intersection of popular culture and scientific discovery. It serves as a reminder that even in the world of academia, there is room for creativity and exploration.

The practice of naming species after fictional characters also highlights the importance of making science accessible and engaging for people of all ages. By drawing connections between scientific discoveries and elements of popular culture that people are familiar with, researchers are able to spark curiosity and interest in the natural world.In addition to naming species after fictional characters, scientists also have the opportunity to highlight important issues and raise awareness about conservation efforts.

By naming species after iconic characters like Frodo Baggins, researchers are able to draw attention to the need to protect the fragile ecosystems where these species are found. This naming practice serves as a way to educate the public about the importance of biodiversity and the role that each species plays in its respective ecosystem.As we continue to discover new species and uncover the mysteries of the natural world, the practice of naming these species after fictional characters adds a touch of whimsy and creativity to the scientific process.

It also reinforces the idea that science is not just about data and facts, but also about sparking curiosity and imagination.In Conclusion, the naming of the fish species 'Chiloglanis frodobagginsi' after a character from The Lord of the Rings is just one example of the ways in which popular culture influences scientific discovery. By bridging the gap between fiction and reality, scientists are able to engage with a wider audience and generate interest in their research.

This unique naming practice serves as a reminder that science can be fun, creative, and exciting, and that there is always more to discover in the world around us.