Bob Marley Gets Bloodsucking Parasite Named After Him in a ... Tribute?

coral reefIt sounds like more of an insult than an honor, but make no mistake, the scientist who discovered a new bloodsucking parasite and named it after Bob Marley wasn't trying to offend the deceased rocker. Paul Sikkel, a marine biologist, named the crustacean blood-feeder that lives in Caribbean coral reefs Gnathia marleyi after his favorite musician because he loved and admired Marley's body of work so much. Sikkel says the parasite is as uniquely Caribbean as Marley, but did not mention anything about the bloodsucking, bottom-feeder part.


Gotta hand it to Sikkel, here, he can name those little buggies whatever he wants; I'm just happy it's not me floating around trying to capture unnamed parasites in shark-infested waters.

That said, if you're trying to honor a person, maybe name your child after them (Bob or Marley make great first names!), or a pet, or a building, a township, a park, a car ... pretty much anything other than a disease-carrying, freeloading leech would be a good idea.

And it's not even like the parasite had dreads, or could play the guitar, or wore red, yellow, and green hats, or smoked a lot of marijuana cigarettes, or wrote the greatest album of the 20th century or anything. Although, hmm, the little bug does hang out in coral reef(ers) among the seaWEED. Nailed it.

This parasite isn't the only biological organism that's been named after a celeb. Barack Obama has his own lichen and Elvis Presley has his own wasp. In case you were wondering, wasp definitely trumps a leech, and lichen pretty much trumps a leech.

So if you head to Jamaica or the Caribbean this summer, and you catch a fish covered in sea ticks, feel comforted knowing that they're not just any blood-suckers, they're Bob Marley blood-suckers. Yeah, mon.

What would you like to have named after you?


Photo via USFWS Pacific/Flickr

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