Yes, you read that right – punk snails have been discovered. It’s not the claim that they’re punks that has led to confusion and debate though; it’s the punk whose name they have been gifted with – that of The Clash frontman Joe Strummer.

Shannon Johnson of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute has recently explained the name given to this strain of punk snails, Alviconcha Strummeri, to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. According to Johnson, “Because they look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s and they have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon.” Johnson also claims that naming species after celebrities, “gets people excited about science.” To be fair, these punk snails have been in a multitude of publications over the past few days, but has it been the snail or the snail’s namesake people care about more? The angle of most articles, after all, is “Why Strummer?”

Honestly though; why Strummer? When Joe Strummer is mentioned, nobody thinks of gaudy yellow-ish orange spikes; Joe Strummer most often conjures images of dark quiffs. Johnny Rotten, on the other hand, is a dead ringer for the A. Strummeri. Strummer has been known to rock an orange mohawk, but everyone knows Johnny Rotten has almost atrociously bright, spiky hair.


A. rotteni definitely is a better fit for punk snail.