I knew I would get some grade A submissions out of this month’s Nerd Alert challenge, but you people really put in some serious effort. Thanks to everyone who entered, as you’ve re-ignited my faith in humanity.
Just knowing that there are still plenty of motivated, smart, and FUNNY people in the world really deters my insistence that the Apocalypse is well over due.
I have actually picked a winner for August’s challenge, but won’t be making that announcement until Monday, September 8, 2014 since I’m still working on getting the illustration finished up. However, because there were so many brilliant submissions, I had to put together a list of honorable mentions for you guys to ruminate on.
Seriously, there are some real gems in here, so let’s all pat each other on the back for a job well done. Oh, and as promised, there will be some kind of token prize for all you over achievers, so stay tuned for that unveiling along with the grand prize winner announcement on Monday.
Taraxacum officinale - the Dandelion. Dean's write-up accompanying this submission was pretty much a work of art in itself. Check out a brief excerpt: "The king of the jungle entered the clearing from the northwest proud and erect. He was resplendent in his Beau Brummell cut-away waistcoat and riding britches. His coat collar was cut high with overly starched, layered ruffles that matched those at his cuffs. He could not take his eyes off his queen lazing in the sun-drenched meadow. He briefly looked down at the bouquet of posies in his hand. They were incredible."
Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus - Asian Palm Civet. A shitter of fine coffee beans responsible for Kopi luwak, also known as Civet coffee, is a form of coffee processing in the Indonesian Archipelago. The seeds of coffee berries are eaten and defecated by the civet, at which point the fecal matter containing the beans is then collected and packaged for retail. It’s been called the most expensive coffee in the world, with prices ranging anywhere from $100-$500 per kilogram.
Most Epic Literary Reference – Submitted by Suzie A.
Fiordichthys slartibartfasti – the Fiordland Brotula. Suzie mentions in her submission that this fish “is found only in the Fiordland region of the South Island of New Zealand. The genus name means fjord fish (fiord + Greek ichthys = fish) while the species name is a references to Slartibartfast, a character from Douglas Adams' 1979 novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who was one of the designers of the supercomputer Earth, winning an award for his design of the Norwegian fjords.”
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum obscurum - the yellow-spotted tropical night lizard. Despite the lengthiness of that scientific name, the longest known binomial on record is a kind of amphipod, Gammaracanthuskytodermogammarus loricatobaicalensis which was proposed by B. Dybowski in 1926. However, the name was later invalidated by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and is no longer used in zoological text.
Best Use of Sarcastic Nomenclature - Submitted by Debbie O.
Ba humbugi - a type of endodontoid land snail in the genus Ba, originating from the Fijian island Mba. No, it wasn’t discovered by Ebeneezer Scrooge, but was named by George Alan Solem one of the most renowned land snail experts during the 20th century.
Amanita phalloides - The Death Cap, world’s deadliest mushroom. The five different poisons contained by the mushroom cause diarrhea and vomiting within 6 to 12 hours of ingestion. This is followed by damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system and, in the majority of cases, coma and death.
Hortipes terminator - Terminator Spider. The Hortipes are a genus of tiny spiders that live in the soil of sub-Saharan Africa. The H. terminator was reportedly so named because the males' appendages resemble a futuristic gun.
Calothorax lucifer - Lucifer Hummingbird. We all assume this little bird must be named for his adorable evil doings, but it’s “likely the species name derives from the Latin meaning of "Lucifer", which is interpreted as "light-bearing" and refers to the iridescent gorget of the male (http://sdakotabirds.com/).”
Uroplatus phantasticus - Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko. National Geographic contributor Liz Langley writes in her post about 7 Demonic Creatures: “With its piercing red eyes, tiny horns, and sinister smile, the satanic leaf-tailed gecko probably wouldn’t be a good mascot for anything but brimstone…”