What does a modern day scientist say to express that eureka moment when they discover a new jellyfish species? Just ask Sheldon.

The ancient Greeks would shout ‘Eureka’ to proclaim their delight at a new discovery. But what does a modern day scientist say to express that Eureka moment?

Channelling Dr Sheldon Cooper from TV’s Big Bang Theory, ‘bazinga’ was what came to mind when Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin and her colleague, Peter Davie from the Queensland Museum, understood the discovery of a small jellyfish off the Australian coast represented a new species.

“Not only had we found a new species, but we also realised it belonged to a new genus and even a new sub-order of rhizostome jellyfish,” says Lisa-ann.

“It’s pretty rare to discover a new sub-order. This hasn’t happened for well over a hundred years.”

Duly named Bazinga rieki, the wee, grape-sized jellyfish measure just 15 to 20 millimetres at maturity, perhaps mistaken in the past for a juvenile of its much larger cousins.

In a paper published in the Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, Lisa-ann explains how the name is not only a reference to Sheldon’s favourite catch cry.

“The name bazinga also refers to a seven-string harp and the straight radial canals of this new species are reminiscent of such strings.”

Check out the Wikipedia entry on Bazinga rieki and listen to Lisa-ann’s interview on the Science Show on ABC Radio National.

3 comments

  1. Wow this is wonderful find. So amazing that we can still find new species on this wonderful planet. A good news story when we nearly always read about how we (humans) are continuing to harm the planet and destroy our fellow travellers. When will we understand that we share our existance on this big blue marble. A well written and concise article very uplifting đŸ™‚

  2. Check out the discovery of a new small bear-like species.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130815-olinguito-new-species-rare-mammal-science-animals/

  3. WOW poor little creature. Don’t worry, I will call you bob… poor little thing…

    Some people are jerks.

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