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Scientists discover punk rock snail, name it after Joe Strummer

Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, snails are easily the most punk rock. They’re both slow, slimy, and they often mask their sensitive nature with a hard exterior that keeps some people out while rewarding others for putting in the effort to really get to know them. Finally, scientists are getting on board with this commonly accepted fact by naming a newly discovered species of snail after The Clash’s Joe Strummer. It’s the exact sort of recognition that the punk rock scene has always wanted.

This news comes from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, which reports that the snail—officially named “Alviconcha strummeri”—lives in a “dark, hot, and acidic” deep sea environment and has a shell covered in sharp spikes. It’s these spikes that gave the scientists the Joe Strummer idea, saying that it makes the snails “look like punk rockers in the ‘70s and ‘80s.” Also, the snails have a bit of a reggae and ska influence, so the similarities seem especially clear.


The Sentinel article also notes that some fun-hating scientists often frown on this practice of naming things after famous people, but Shannon Johnson—one of the researchers who discovered A. strummeri—says it’s all about getting people interested in science. “Otherwise,” she says, “people might not see these snails.” Considering how often The A.V. Club writes about snails in general, we’d say she’s on to something.

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