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Deafeningly loud shrimp named after Pink Floyd

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Shrimp on you crazy diamond

A shrimp of the family Synalpheus floats lazily over Battersea power station in London.

There’s a new heavy rock species of shrimp roaming the oceans, playing loudly, and generally annoying the neighbors: its name is Synalpheus Pinkfloydi, in honor of the iconic British band, Pink Floyd. Instead of a Fender Precision bass, the shrimp uses its large, garish pink claw to create a loud noise that is lethal to small fish. In fact, snapping its claw shut creates a sonic boom that can reach 210 decibels, one of the loudest sounds in the ocean.

Synalpheus Pinkfloydi.
Photo by Arthur Anker

The shrimp was named by Sammy De Grave, head of research at the Oxford University Museum of National History, and his colleagues, who discovered the shrimp off the coast of Panama. De Grave has been a fan of Pink Floyd since he was a teenager, according to the BBC. The band released some of the most seminal albums in rock music lore; Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall were all part of the staple diet of music fans like me (and De Grave) who grew up in the 1970s.

Though Pink Floyd are undoubtedly loud, their live shows were more renowned for the staggering light shows, lasers, back projections, and floating pigs than sonic force. As a 16-year-old, I had the privilege of seeing Pink Floyd perform The Wall live at Earls Court in London back in 1979. Though I couldn’t hear properly for days afterward, it wasn’t the volume that left its mark — it was the sheer power of the visual spectacle has stayed with me ever since.

I don’t want to get into a full-blown rock spat with De Grave and his team, but if I was going to name a shrimp after the loudest rock band, it certainly wouldn’t be Pink Floyd. Bands such as Black Sabbath, Motörhead, and AC/DC are probably scoffing at the mere thought of the Floyd going head-to-head with them in a sound off. After all Brian Johnson, lead singer with AC/DC, was forced to quit touring or risk losing his hearing forever.

But then again, I can’t deny that Synalpheus Acdci doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as the thunderous Synalpheus Pinkfloydi. So I guess I’ll just wait and watch for shrimps on the wing.