What’s in a Name?

Fly-July-17-BlogWe share planet Earth with literally millions of different species. Some of them we’re quite familiar with – sheep, dogs, horses, bees, roses, mushrooms… But those we know well are just the tip of the iceberg. Each new species of animal or plant that we discover needs its own name.

With so many species to find names for we’ve had to get quite creative, the result being that some have rather funny names. So today I’ve gathered up a list of the funniest and weirdest sounding species:

  • Pieza kake – Doesn’t seem funny does it, until you read it out loud. It’s pronounced piece o’ cake’. Pieza kake is a species of Brazilian fly
  • Parastratiosphecomyia stratiosphecomyioides – A bit of a mouthful! This is another species of fly and, with 42 characters, is has the longest name of any species. Its name translates into English as Near Soldier Wasp-Fly Wasp Fly-like!
  • Oedipus complex – You’ve probably heard of a psychological condition called the Oedipus complex. It’s based on a tragic hero from Greek legend, who accidentally killed his father and married his mother (he didn’t want to, I promise!). Well, scientists named a species of salamander after the condition. Why? No reason whatsoever!
  • Carmenelectra shechisme – This one seems curious, until you know how it’s pronounced: ‘Carmen Electra she kiss me’. Carmen Electra, if you don’t know, is Lens-July-17an actress and model. She was no doubt admired by the scientist who decided upon the name for this extinct species of moth!
  • Kamera lens – A tiny, single-celled organism which requires a magnifying lens (if not a camera lens) to be seen
  • Agra vation – This is a species of beetle which does not live up to its name! It’s actually a very easy-going creature which dines on sap and pollen
  • Aha ha – A type of Australian wasp whose discoverer was so delighted when he found it that he exclaimed, ‘Aha!’
  • GoldenPalace.com Monkey – I find this name quite sad. In order to generate money, the Bolivian National Park where the species lives, decided to auction off the naming rights to the highest bidder. The result, company sponsorship of species names. How long until koalas are renamed ‘Coca-Koalas’ and foxes retitled ‘Glacier Mints’?

I’ve only been able to scratch the surface of this topic – there are many more species with funny names. Which is your favourite? Let Education Quizzes know by filling in the comments box below. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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