The rule of biological taxonomy is “you discover it, you name it.”
University of British Columbia microbiologist Patrick Keeling, was part of a team of scientists who discovered some new microbes in–wait for it–the guts of a little-known species of termite. Fascinated by the abundance and length of their flagella–the thread cells the little buggers use to move–he decided that they reminded him of Rush back in their 2112 days.
Now and forever more, these Pseudotrichonympha species will be known as P. leei, P. lifesoni, and P. pearti. It’s the last one that is creating the most excitement amongst microbiologists because it has “unusual rotating intracellular structure of unknown function.” Kinda like the way Neil plays drums, right?
If you need to go deeper–and you know you do–go here. Next up? Time to name some asteroids after the guys.