You know, I actually wasn’t THAT surprised this morning when I found out that Johnny Depp now has an ancient, extinct sea creature named after him. If any celeb was going to supply the name for a crazy-looking fossil, it WOULD be Johnny, wouldn’t it?
According to London’s Imperial College, a distant ancestors of lobsters, scorpions, and the like has recently been discovered. The 505-million-year-old fossil, which is believed to have been a scavenger, boasts giant scissor-like hands—not unlike one of Johnny Depp’s notable early roles, Edward Scissorhands. As such, it’s been named the Kooteninchela deppi after the actor.
Said David Legg, who carried out the research on the creature as part of his PhD in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, “When I first saw the pair of isolated claws in the fossil records of this species, I could not help but think of Edward Scissorhands. Even the genus name, Kooteninchela, includes the referece to this film, as ‘chela’ is Latin for claws or scissors.” He continued, “In truth, I am also a bit of a Depp fan and so what better way to honor the man than to immortalize him as an ancient creature that once roamed the sea?” Maybe this is what Captain Jack Sparrow will be hunting on his next voyage into the Caribbean.
Here’s an image of the fossil itself; you can also see a picture of what the creature may have looked like over at Imperial College London’s website:
For the curious, the Kooteninchela deppi is part of a group called the “great-appendage” arthropods—so named for their large pincer-like frontal claws. They’re an early relative of arthropods, a group which includes a lot of creatures you’re probably familiar with—although you may not be terribly fond of them. Said Legg, “Just imagine: The prawns covered in mayonnaise in your sandwich, the spider climbing up your wall, and even the fly that has been banging into your window and annoyingly flying into your face are all descendants of Kooteninchela deppi.” Yum.
Anyhoo, that’s your weird news for the day. Happy Monday, Bettys!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.