Bazinga! Museum gets big bang out of naming jellyfish

Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons in an episode of Big Bang Theory.
Kaley Cuoco and Jim Parsons in an episode of Big Bang Theory.

A NEW species of jellyfish, found by Queensland Museum researchers, has been named after a catchphrase from popular television sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.

Museum researchers Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin and Peter Davie discovered the new species of jellyfish, which was previously thought to be a smaller version of an existing species.

But to celebrate their eureka moment, the researchers named it Bazinga rieki, after TV character Dr Sheldon Cooper's catchphrase "bazinga".

Dr Gershwin said not only was the jellyfish a new species, but it was also a new genus and sub-order of rhizostome jellyfish.

"It's pretty rare to discover a new sub-order. This hasn't happened for well over a hundred years," she said.

The tiny jellyfish measured only 15mm to 20mm at maturity, and may have been previously taken to be a juvenile of much larger cousins, rather than a new species.

Dr Gershwin said the name bazinga also referred to a seven-string harp and the straight radial canals of the new species were "reminiscent of such strings".

Topics:  editors picks environment jellyfish museums nature

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