James Hetfield of Metallica has received a once in a lifetime honor -- a new species of venomous snake has been named after him.
The Atheris hetfieldi was discovered at the base of a volcano on Bioko island in Equatorial Guinea and is characterized by “a triangular-shaped head and strongly-keeled scales, which gives them a dragon-like appearance, which certainly is consonant with the image of a singer of a Heavy Metal band.”
Dr. Luis Ceriaco led the team of scientists that made the discovery, and he told that they wanted to honor Hetfield "as a thank you for all the good vibes his music has transmitted to us during all of our personal lives and careers. Also, we think that a mysterious venomous and cool looking snake, who lives in the base of a volcano lost in the middle of the tropical forest is very relatable to heavy metal!"
Dr. Ceriaco added that there was another reason for the name. "Naming a new species after someone as James brings more attention to the much needed biodiversity studies and field surveys. We are in race against the extinction of a large proportion of the world's biodiversity, and many species may go extinct before we even know they exist!"