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Idle: New Species Named For SpongeBob SquarePants

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the love-interest-might-not-appreciate-it dept.

Science 74

An anonymous reader writes "Sing it with us: What lives in the rainforest, under a tree? Spongiforma squarepantsii, a new species of mushroom almost as strange as its cartoon namesake. Scientists from the San Francisco State University have discovered a new species of mushroom in Borneo with sponge-like properties. Its strange behavior convinced them to name it after the famous Bob. There is no word on whether or not their chances of getting future grant money will be improved by this choice." Did you know (prior to clicking on the Wikipedia link above) that SpongeBob was created by a marine biologist?

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My cock. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471596)

In your mom's ass. Nuff said.

WTF (0)

numb7rs (1689018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471604)

People in the next century are going to seriously question the sanity of this one if this sort of stuff continues.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471610)

I think naming a mushroom after a cartoon is the LEAST of this century's worries.

Re:WTF (4, Interesting)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471690)

Oh come on, let the guys just have some fun. If this leads you to question the sanity of the biologists involved, have a look at the gene naming schemata in Drosophila flies...

Let me just point at cheap date, a gene that imposes heightened alcohol sensitive on the flies; or perhaps the ken and barbie genes, mutations in which cause lack of external genitalia. Then there is superman, a mutation that causes extra male genitalia in the plant Arabidopsis. Naturally, it is suppressed by the kryptonite gene. Leaving the genitalia business, there is also embargo in Drosophila, a mutation in which stops nuclear export...

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471744)

Don't forget the Sonic hedgehog gene!

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36472056)

It appears I went too fast and turned back time so I do not know of this Sonic fellow you speak of.
What is he, some sort of Wrestler?

Re:WTF (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472992)

Or Smaug (can't remember what it does, but yes, it's named after the dragon), or MAD (Mothers Against Decapentapalegia, which, when mutated, produces limbless flies).

Re:WTF (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36474302)

Smaug obviously is the supressor for nanos, the dwarf gene. (just for clarity, not made up - it's how it works, Smaugbinds the nanos mRNA).

Re:WTF (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475018)

OK. They never actually explained it in my developmental genetics classes, the prof just said, "Yes, it is a reference to The Hobbit."

Zbtb7: Gotta catch 'em all (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475522)

Or "Pokemon", the original name for the Zbtb7 gene [wikipedia.org] until Nintendo threatened to sue [gamespot.com] anyone who would name a gene related to cancer after one of its flagship franchises.

Re:WTF (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473594)

"Let me just point at cheap date, a gene that imposes heightened alcohol sensitive on the flies; or perhaps the ken and barbie genes, mutations in which cause lack of external genitalia. Then there is superman, a mutation that causes extra male genitalia in the plant Arabidopsis. Naturally, it is suppressed by the kryptonite gene. Leaving the genitalia business, there is also embargo in Drosophila, a mutation in which stops nuclear export..."

I see nothing wrong with any of those since they all make complete sense. I for one welcome our new rational-naming-scheme overlords

Re:WTF (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36474240)

Didn't say that I see anything wrong with those. Just some geneticists having some fun while still making sense - isn't that the best kind? Personally, I come from the NMR spectroscopy business, so don't let me get started on the HOHAHA, HEHAHA and HIHAHA pulse sequences...

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471696)

Then again so many things have been named after Greek and Roman mythology that no one bats an eyelid. It's about time they start using modern fictional names. I for one would have loved it if there was a dwarf planet called Xena with a moon called Gabrielle.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36472618)

There almost was. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eris_(dwarf_planet)

Re:WTF (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473688)

I know you're AC, but I have to comment. Greek and Roman mythology has been around for thousands of years. Spongeboob came out in 1999. Seriously you're putting a cartoon that's barely 10 years old up against Greek and Roman mythology? Oh right, AC troll, gotcha.

Also naming it after a children's cartoon shows the immaturity of the biologist. I didn't even know what Spongbob was until recently, when my wife, who was young enough to watch Spongebob growing up, introduced me to it. It's a good show but I wouldn't be naming mushrooms after it... unless I was on shrooms at the time and thought "DUDE! We should call it... SPONGEBOB!"

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36473988)

On the other hand, just about no one can tell one muse from another, but everyone recognizes Spongebob.

Re:WTF (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475476)

Perhaps we should fix that by teaching people about the muses instead of going on about spongebob, though...

Re:WTF (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475028)

my wife, who was young enough to watch Spongebob growing up,

Jesus tittyfucking Christ I feel old.

Re:WTF (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36478132)

Ditto!

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36472216)

Agreed. How could anyone write a lengthy article about a new mushroom without once mentioning what it tastes like?

Re:WTF (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475526)

How could anyone write a lengthy article about a new mushroom without once mentioning what it tastes like?

If it is a proper shroom, it'll taste purple with a slight whiff of G-minor, of course.

Re:WTF (1)

black soap (2201626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473300)

And yet we take all the silly names made up in previous centuries as "well, that's just how they did things, and they needed a catchy name."

What won't scientists do for attention? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471620)

They might as well have named it "Desperata Attentionii"

Re:What won't scientists do for attention? (3, Insightful)

numb7rs (1689018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471646)

No, I can see why they chose that. SpongeBob's a fun guy.

Re:What won't scientists do for attention? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471678)

/golfclap

Re:What won't scientists do for attention? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475058)

No, I can see why they chose that. SpongeBob's a fun guy.

And that ends the thread, I'd have thought. What possible point is there in posting anything else? Bravo.

yes, sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471668)

I did actually know that it was created by a marine biologist... I believe Nickelodeon (sp?) did some kind of special where he was talking about how the show came to be, in between him doing weird stuff on a boat. I was a kid not that long ago... or at least I choose to believe.

Fantastic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471680)

A new species of mushroom found in the rainforests. Let's burn it all down immediately to use as soil (like intelligent beings do)!

classification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471682)

Karl von Linne would be proud.

Not trying hard enough (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471700)

Come on, at least roughly translate it into Latin first.

Re:Not trying hard enough (3, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471716)

Fine. Spongiforma bracae-quadratae then.

Re:Not trying hard enough (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473004)

Lovely. Now, was that really so hard?

Re:Not trying hard enough (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36474868)

Why yes, yes it was. Do you have any idea how rusty my latin is?

Re:Not trying hard enough (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36478494)

All that matters is that it's less rusty than theirs :\

Yes I did... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36471732)

Did you know (prior to clicking on the Wikipedia link above) that SpongeBob was created by a marine biologist?

Yes I did. Someone was nice enough to mention it in the summary, so I didn't even have to click the link.

The grants, the grants, OH GOD THE GRANTS (0)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471776)

Thanks for implying the usual "they are only doing it for the grants"-meme in the summary, timothy. It's been soo popular with the science-haters around here lately, I can see why you would want to retain that group of customers.

Even when... (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471806)

Even when I escape to the real world (the one that exists for a few hours when the children sleep and vulgar language is allowed), I can't escape mention of that little bastard whose only resemblance to a square is the fact that his faces (not the space where his annoying face-parts are, but rather the surface faces of the prism of his being) are quadrilaterals (rectangles, in fact).

What. The. Fuck.

Re:Even when... (1, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471878)

What you call the "real" world is what I call the "stuck-up" world. In my "real" world, children do exist, vulgar language is allowed but people generally don't feel the need to use it all the time and spongebob is enjoyed by many even though he isn't quite as square as his last name would seem to (but actually doesn't) imply.
Lighten up.

Re:Even when... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472228)

I think they probably mean "square" in the construction sense - that is, two things (such as Spongebob's edges) are considered square when they are orthogonal.

Re:Even when... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472512)

I think they mean square metaphorically. As in, he's generally the responsible one in his chowda of friends.

Re:Even when... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477190)

And yet you post here.

Talk about your passive aggressive attention seeker.

Personally I like Spongbob, and it has sparked some great conversations with my children.
Also, his name does not denote his shape. His name is not SquareSponge.

Patrickus Staroidea (2)

HideyoshiJP (1392619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471896)

No! My name is Patrick! I am not a Krusty Krab...

too bad (2)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 3 years ago | (#36471948)

Linnaeus must be spinning in his grave just fast enough to clear the shark.

Rather that than latin (0)

patriciacurtis (920142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472088)

its better to have a modern name that a Latin name.

Re:Rather that than latin (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472104)

Now what's wrong with latin? (ignoring the fact that squarepantsii is standard latinizing anyway). Personally, I feel it is a shame that today's scientists, including me, are not fluid in latin any more. I used to be, but lost all of it over the last one and a half decades.

Why stop there? (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472112)

We can start naming everything we discover after pop culture! EVERYTHING! We can even rename existing things after it.
Years in the future science symposiums will sound like a conversation between 7-year-old kids in the schoolyard.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with this picture.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472172)

Good god man, get a grip.

There are two million discovered species, of which a couple of dozen are named after some cutesy pop culture thing - it's just not that big a deal.

Re:Why stop there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36472272)

One could argue it always has been named after pop culture, that pop culture changes is nothing new. I dont see anything wrong with this, it shows a sense of humour.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473182)

But I tried to go for a +1 funny D:

Re:Why stop there? (1)

AgentSmith (69695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473304)

But I tried to go for a +1 funny D:

Standard procedure reply on Slashdot when someone doesn't 'get it' is WHOOOOSH!

Re:Why stop there? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472356)

yet you use the term "pop culture" like it's a term passed down from the ancients.

Re:Why stop there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36472834)

There is nothing wrong with this picture. Some of the comments here make it sound as if science isn't allowed to be fun. There is nothing in the zoological or botanical code that says names can't be humorous. The rules exclude some things (e.g., the names aren't supposed to be offensive), but the rules are otherwise left so that you can use almost anything as the basis for a name, once properly transformed into Latin. The Linnean system has held up over the centuries because it allows scientists to be creative with the names, and because the human brain finds names easier to work with than, say, unique numeric codes (which has been tried with little success). Ideally, names are supposed to be descriptive and memorable. This one fits that goal nicely.

One of my favorite species names is Montypythonoides riversleighensis for a fossil snake from Australia, although it's now considered a junior synonym of Morelia, unfortunately.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473188)

Please continue. I'll be staying in my secret moon base in the Hendrix crater [wikipedia.org] until this discussion has blown over.

Pikachon (1)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472148)

Damn, biologists get all the cool names. Dear physicists at the LHC, when you find a new particle please consider naming it "Pikachu boson", a.k.a. "Pikachon". Don't let biologists win this one.

Re:Pikachon (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472362)

The Weiner particle: emits a few "brief" bursts then tries to disappear.

Re:Pikachon (1)

jamiesan (715069) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473528)

Isn't it supposed to deny the bursts first, and then disappear?

Re:Pikachon (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36479080)

Can we please stop talking about the congeressman's wiener?

Re:Pikachon (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36474030)

Don't forget that particle physics has given us strange, charmed, and colored particles.

They already won: Pikachurin (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475680)

Pikachurin [wikipedia.org] is one of the retinal proteins.

Re:Pikachon (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36476448)

What like when they named the quarks? Up Down Happy Sad....

It gets weirder (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36472152)

Yes I did know. I didn't even need to follow the wiki link. Not only is he a marine biologist, I believe he has a doctorate.

Also, if you pay attention to the show, Patrick the starfish comes back from a lump of starfish (regeneration). Mr. Krabs collects things (like real crabs! :O)

And the best of it all? They live in Bikini Bottom. Now where have you heard that before (besides the obvious outfit pun)?
Why Bikin Atoll of course! Where everyone and their grandma blewup nuclear warheads under the water. Now look at the houses in town.
Notice how they look an awful lot like missles? Everyone is talking and alive? It all starts to make a kind of sense now, doesn't it?

Also, Goo Lagoon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzUEr7uMnXU For those of you who are familiar with the show may not have been aware of this.

-Shoe

Re:It gets weirder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36473904)

IIRC, sponges are commonly found in submerged fruit (a pineapple under the sea).

There have been other references to "real life fish stuff", Flatts the Flounder, with two eyes on one side of his head, for instance..

Re:It gets weirder (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36474204)

Oh, that's only half of it. Starfish (like Patrick) don't have brains. Explains a lot. Squidward, the "intellectual", is a squid, which are some of the smartest invertebrates. I liked when evil villain Plankton showed some of his relatives in the "plankton family", and they were fairly accurate depictions of several real plankton groups. In one episode Spongebob and Patrick went back in time and there were trilobites crawling around on the sea floor.

It's a geekier show than it looks at first glance.

teehee (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472608)

and smells "vaguely fruity

Yeah, we already had our suspicions!

Ocean Man (1)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472832)

Did you know (prior to clicking on the Wikipedia link above) that SpongeBob was created by a marine biologist?

Did you know Ween wrote the title track to the Spongebob Squarepants movie?

Re:Ocean Man (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36475580)

I suppose Ween will do anything as long as you can label it "Far out, man"...

Re:Ocean Man (1)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36477182)

I learned the history of Spongebob Squarepants a couple of days ago. If I remember it correctly, Stephen Hillenberg was a marine biologist who also had a part time job working in an animation studio, and his boss was Joe Murray. He worked in Murray's animation studio during the period of the early 1990s when Murray's main project was Rocko's Modern Life. When Murray stopped doing animation after 1995 due to some serious marital issues (his wife eventually killed herself and he went on a 10 year hiatus from animation before creating Camp Lazlo), Hillenberg came up with the idea for Spongebob, and shortly thereafter made a pilot for Viacom.

So basically, Spongebob is the alter ego to Rocko Wallaby.

Now here's the question on every kids mind (1)

dayton967 (647640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36472838)

Does it live in a pineapple under the sea?

Nope. From TFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36473976)

From the freakin' article: It lives in a rainforest, under a tree,

Created by Marine Biologist? (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473154)

Wow, I had no idea that the Marines even had biologists. Whatever for?

Re:Created by Marine Biologist? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36473222)

If you absolutely positively need it classified under the Linnean system before sunrise...

ZappaFrank (1)

Jumpin' Jon (731892) | more than 3 years ago | (#36474074)

I think this is cool.. much like the "space object"* named after Frank Zappa.

* Can't remember whether is was an asteroid, meteor, etc. and know I'd be utter flamebait for getting it wrong in /. company ;)

Marine biologist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36474926)

Jerry: Now I should tell you at this point she's under the impression that you are a.....
George: A what?
Jerry: A marine biologist.
George: A marine biologist....why am I a marine biologist?
Jerry: I may have mentioned it.
George: But I'm not a marine biologist!
Jerry: I'm aware of that.
George: So?
Jerry: You don't think it's a good job.
George: I didn't think it was a job.
Jerry: Oh. It's a fascinating field!
George: I'd rather be a cartoonist.

Not impressed (1)

jseale (691367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36484554)

I know Nickelodeon is trying to educate kids with their programming but this little bit of trivia is not going to impress kids one iota. Just try to use the species name in an episode of this show and watch its ratings go down the toilet.
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