“I hate snakes, Jock. I HATE ‘EM.” From the opening moments of Raiders of the Lost Ark, we learned archaeologist Indiana Jones had one big fear. He really did not care for snakes. All four subsequent Indiana Jones films have played off this aspect of his character in one form or another, and everyone knows snakes are to Indy what Kryptonite is to Superman. Now, a newly discovered species of snake has been named for Indiana Jones actor Harrison Ford, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Say hello to Tachymenoides harrisonfordi.
Researchers discovered this new species of snake in the Andes mountains of Peru—a place Indiana Jones got into many a scrape. The Tachymenoides harrisonfordi is a type of slender snake that measures 16 inches long, and is pale yellowish-brown with scattered black blotches. It also has a black belly and a vertical streak over its copper-colored eye, perfect for camouflage. Honestly, that color scheme all sounds very Indiana Jones-y to us. This discovery was a joint collaboration between researchers from Peru and the United States, and thus far has only turned up one male snake.
Technically, the researchers named this snake for Harrison Ford as a way of honoring his environmental advocacy. Ford is, after all, the vice chair of Conservation International. But we know that’s just part of it. This is actually not the first time Harrison Ford has had a newly discovered species named after him. There are ants and spiders too, which fans know Indy encountered in creepy crawly scenes in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Temple of Doom.
So what does the 81-year-old icon think of this? In a statement, Ford said “These scientists keep naming critters after me, but it’s always the ones that terrify children. I don’t understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching. And I sing lullabies to my basil plants, so they won’t fear the night. In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling. It’s a reminder that there’s still so much to learn about our wild world — and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere. On this planet, all fates are intertwined, and right now, one million species are teetering on the edge of oblivion. We have an existential mandate to mend our broken relationship with nature and protect the places that sustain life.”
Sometimes, Harrison is wise as well as crotchety. That’s why we love him.