Science Awesomeness

University of British Columbia researchers have discovered two new symbionts living in the gut of termites, and taken the unusual step of naming them after fictional monsters created by American horror author HP Lovecraft.

The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood. The researchers decided to name them after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe.

I’m Mark Shea and I approve this nomenclature.

  • http://gladius-spiritus.blogspot.ca/ bear

    Perhaps this helps make up for naming a projectile vomitting robot “Larry”.

    • The True Will

      That’s “Robot Vomiting Larry”. There is a pun there. Don’t ask me to explain it.

  • Carbon Monoxide

    Wow! Could we swallow these guys and then we could eat wood? I gotta try it!

  • http://irenist.blogspot.com/ Irenist

    Based on prior Lovecraftian pranks there, I expect something about these microbes being present in Mark’s beard to show up on his Wikipedia page soon.

    • TheRealAaron

      Fun fact: Mark Shea’s beard can eat wood… BUT MARK SHEA HIMSELF CANNOT!

  • ivan_the_mad

    As is now obvious, Cthulhu was far and away the most qualified candidate in 2012.

    • Beccolina

      If he’d won, I’m pretty sure N. Korea would be of no concern right now.

    • Jmac

      I’m a Yog-Sothoth man myself. But I really could have seen myself going either way.

  • The True Will

    “Cthylla” was not created by Lovecraft, but by imitator Brian Lumley.

  • http://www.qualitypestcontrol.com.au/ Joseph Driscoll

    Thanks for sharing this links. Keep it up! Cheers!


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