Meet the New Deep-Sea Creature Named After Metallica

Metallica

As one of rock music’s most legendary bands, Metallica have been given many honors. But to be named after a crustacean? That’s a new one.

Meet Macrostylis metallicola. It’s a worm-like creature that can grow up to 6.5 millimeters long. It is found in the Clarion Clipperton Zone, located roughly between Hawaii and Mexico where pressure is equal to about 400 times that of the Earth’s atmosphere. Dr. Torben Riehl and Dr. Bart De Smet discovered the species and felt looking to Metallica for inspiration was the most appropriate place to find a name.

“The powerful music of Metallica has accompanied me the majority of my life. Songs such as “Master of Puppets’ and “One’ are outstanding masterpieces in rock history and I am thrilled to be able to give something back to the band by naming a new species after them!” said deep-sea scientist Dr. Torben Riehl of the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, Germany.

Metallica shared the news with their fans on social media and explained why they were similar to the crustacean.

“First of all, stellar name Dr. Riehl,” the caption said. “Second, what an honor! Not only did Dr. Riehn name his discovery after a band as he has been a fan since childhood, The Thing That Should Not Be has a few things in common with us. The worm-like creature dwells in complete darkness, has no eyes, and is colorless. Talk about Blackened! It also lives amongst metallic nodules containing cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, and rare-earth elements. So it basically lives in a rock stadium? Now that’s one metal crustacean!”

 

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We’ve played on all seven continents, made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and now… we’re a crustacean! Senckenberg researcher Dr. Torben Riehl and Dr. Bart De Smet of Ghent University in Belgium have discovered a new crustacean species in the depths of the northern Pacifica Ocean and decided to name it after some rock band… Welcome to our world Macrostylis metallicola! First of all, stellar name Dr. Riehl. Second, what an honor! Not only did Dr. Riehn name his discovery after a band as he has been a fan since childhood, The Thing That Should Not Be has a few things in common with us. The worm-like creature dwells in complete darkness, has no eyes, and is colorless. Talk about Blackened! It also lives amongst metallic nodules containing cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, and rare-earth elements. So it basically lives in a rock stadium? Now that’s one metal crustacean! You just never know what you’ll find “lurking beneath the sea.”

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The researchers also wanted to draw attention to the environment and hope that people will start caring about the ecosystem we live in.

“The continuously rising demand for metals due to population growth, urbanization and clean-energy technology leads to resource exploration and exploitation even in, until now, scientifically unknown and hard-to-reach parts of this world, such as the deep sea,” Dr. Riehl told Phys.org. “Very few people are aware that the vast and largely unexplored depths of the oceans harbor bizarre and undiscovered creatures—much like our new Metallica crustacean. These species are part of the Earth system on which we all depend. The deep-sea plays a role in this system being linked to the climate as well as the food webs of the oceans. Even if we cannot stop mining from happening, we have to make sure that manganese-nodule exploitation will be conducted in a sustainable manner by implementing proper management plans and protected areas designed to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.”

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