Taylor Swift Is The Surprising Inspiration Behind New Scientific Discovery
By Sarah Tate
April 19, 2022
Derek Hennen, the lead author of a research paper published in ZooKeys, revealed that he and fellow Virginia Tech scientists Jackson Means and Paul Marek recently discovered 16 new species of millipede in North America's Appalachian Mountains, according to Phys.org. Because they made the discovery, they were able to name the little creatures, including one named after the "Shake It Off" singer, per Billboard.
Called Nannaria swiftae, the twisted-claw millipede is only been found in Tennessee, which is fitting given that Swift made a name for herself while living in the Volunteer State. Hennen, who named the insect after the Folklore singer, spoke about why he chose to honor her.
"Her music helped me get through the highs and lows of graduate school, so naming a new millipede species after her is my way of saying thanks," said Hennen.
Hennen's tributes didn't just stop at Swift, also naming another species of millipede after his wife with Nannaria marianae. He shared the both millipedes in a thread on Twitter, where he thanked his wife for her support.
"A small thank-you for all her patience when we're taking a nature hike and I stop to look for millipedes," he said.