Straight To Shell: Newly discovered deep sea snail named after Joe Strummer


This past Sunday, the Clash’s landmark album London Calling celebrated its 35th anniversary. This coming Monday brings sadder news, as December 22 marks the 12th anniversary of the death of Joe Strummer.

Perhaps these dates have been on the minds of scientists at California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, who have named a new species of deep sea snail after the late guitarist.

The Alviniconcha strummer were given their name mostly because of their look — their spiky exterior echoing the looks of punks in he late-’70s and ’80s, researchers says. They are one of five new species recently discovered found living 6,500-feet beneath the ocean surface.

“Because they look like punk rockers in the ’70s and ’80s and have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon,” says researcher Shannon Johnson in a paper published in the journal Systematics and Biodiversity, via the Guardian. “The name highlights the ‘hardcore’ nature of alviniconcha snails, that inhabit the hottest, most acidic and most sulphidic microhabitats at Indo-Pacific hydrothermal vents. The name also recognises the surface of Alviniconcha shells: the spiky periostracum resembles the fashion of punk rock bands.”


Here’s a closer look: