When Anna McCallum discovered a new shrimp species near Australia, instead of naming it after herself, like most selfish scientists, she put the naming rights on eBay to raise money for marine conservation.
McCallum, now a PhD student at the University of Melbourne, was shocked at the winning bidder’s identity—one of Michael Jordan’s lesser-known teammates, according to The Scientist:
The winner of the eBay auction, with a bid of AU $3,600 (US $2,900), was Luc Longley, a former NBA basketball player who won three straight championships with the dynastic Chicago Bulls team of the late 1990s. “It was a total surprise that a basketballer would be interested in this little deep-sea shrimp,” McCallum recalls.
But Longley was no stranger to supporting marine conservation in his native country, having helped halt the construction of a resort near the Ningaloo Reef, a vast coral ecosystem off the west coast of Australia. “That gave me a taste for it,” Longley says.
Longley is from Western Australia, not far from where the shrimp was discovered. But who knew the 7’2″ center was such a marine conservation buff?
In yet another act of selflessness, Longely named the new shrimp species Lebbeus clarehanna, as a birthday present to his eldest daughter Clare Hanna Longley, who turned 15 this past August. Probably not the gift she was expecting, but cool nonetheless.
McCallum’s discovery is published in the all-shrimp issue of of the journal Zootaxa.
Discoblog: To Do: Find New Bug Species on EBay, Name It After Self
Discoblog: Captive Prawns “Just Not in the Mood” for Sex
Discoblog: Freaky Shrimp Species Has Singular Sight
Image: CSIRO, Australia