Two new species of microorganisms that bear an uncanny resemblance to The Big C:
UBC researchers have discovered two new symbionts living in the gut of termites, and taken the unusual step of naming them after fictional monsters created by American horror author HP Lovecraft.
The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood. The researchers decided to name them after monstrous cosmic entities featured in Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos as an ode to the sometimes strange and fascinating world of the microbe.
“When we first saw them under the microscope they had this unique motion, it looked almost like an octopus swimming,” says UBC researcher Erick James, lead author of the paper describing the new protists, published in the online journal PLoS ONE.
Sadly, the UBC researchers didn’t realize these were “children” that went missing from a Deep One city far beneath the waves off the coast of British Columbia. Nor will anyone ever truly understand what happened that night when the UBC labs were destroyed and the samples went missing…
Definitely a Delta Green plot.