Metallica Celebrates New Namesake—an Eyeless, Colorless Crustacean

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L: Metallica’s James Hetfield performs on stage in Vienna, Austria, 2019. R: The band's loving rendition of the Macrostylis Metallicola. (GEORG HOCHMUTH/AFP via Getty Images / Instagram @Metallica)

San Francisco thrash legends Metallica have expressed delight over having a newly discovered species of crustacean named after them.

The Macrostylis Metallicola has a worm-like body, no eyes, no color and maxes out at a quarter of an inch long. It resides in the darkest depths of the Pacific, 16,000 feet below the ocean surface, and was discovered between Mexico and Hawaii by Dr. Torben Riehl and Dr. Bart De Smet of Ghent University, Belgium.

“The powerful music of Metallica has accompanied me the majority of my life,” Riehl explained. “I am thrilled to be able to give something back to the band by naming a new species after them!”

Here is the Macrostylis Metallicola in all of its glory, as presented in PeerJ, The Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences:

“Macrostylis metallicola n. sp. holotype ♀ 879 (SMF 50941) digitized pencil drawings of habitus.”
“Macrostylis metallicola n. sp. holotype ♀ 879 (SMF 50941) digitized pencil drawings of habitus.” ( - DOI: 10.7717/peerj.8621/fig-2)

Delightfully, Metallica’s resident artist came up with their own vivid rendition, as the quartet celebrated the special milestone. “Now that’s one metal crustacean!” the band wrote.

Remarkably, this is not the first time science’s love for heavy metal has expressed itself through the naming of new organisms.

Researcher Mats Eriksson has named worms after Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister (the Kalloprion Kilmisteri), Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster (the Websteroprion Armstrongi) and King Diamond (Kingnites Diamondi). Elsewhere, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has a tarantula (Aphonopelma Davemustainei) named for him, and Ozzy Osbourne has been honored with a frog that sounds like a bat (Dendropsophus Ozzyi).