In times like these, you have to have a sense of humor.
And while scientists didn’t mean to make a joke out of this situation, they probably should’ve seen it coming: when you name a fossil after the President, you’re just asking for a few laughs.
Back in 1988, paleontologists dug up a fascinating fossil in Montana’s Bear Gulch Limestone formation and donated it to Canada’s Royal Ontario Museum. It was an ancient ancestor of the octopus.
However, at the time, they didn’t fully grasp just how important the fossil is.
Years later – just this past Tuesday, in fact – an American Museum of Natural History paleontologist stumbled on the fossil sitting in a drawer, and realized there was something odd about it.
In fact, Christopher Whalen discovered that the fossil’s arms were covered in tiny suckers.
Said Smithsonian National Museum of History zoologist Mike Vecchione:
It’s very rare to find soft tissue fossils, except in a few places. This is a very exciting finding.
It pushes back the ancestry much farther than previously known.
Obviously, it’s an important find for scientists and will likely be a serious talking point for years to come.
The fossil is currently the oldest known vampyropod, a possible ancestor to today’s “vampire squids” and octopi. It has 10 limbs (the modern octopus only has 8) and now, it has a fun new name.
Scientists named a recently discovered 330 million-year-old multi-tentacled fossil of an octopus ancestor after President Joe Biden, calling it Syllipsimopodi Bideni.
So, a 330 million-year-old fossil has been named after the President of the United States — a man who many have criticized for simply being too old to be in his position.
Of course, scientists didn’t mean to poke fun at Biden’s age. They named it after him because they “were encouraged by his plans to address climate change and to fund scientific research.”
Well, perhaps they could’ve chosen a less comical way of thanking him.
Because now, everyone is giggling themselves silly over this “honor.” Some are also comparing the suckers on the fossil to Biden “sucking” the country dry; i.e., draining American wallets.
Presidents typically get plenty of honors during the course of their careers, especially after they’ve left office.
Streets, state and federal buildings, parks, cemeteries, airports, and schools all have paid homage to America’s great leaders. And Biden will probably get a few of these eventually.
But in the meantime, he’s going to be known as the President who got his name associated with a fossil 330 million years old. One wonders if Biden laughed when he heard this himself…