Geek Trivia

Actress Angelina Jolie Has A Species Of What Creature Named After Her?

Eel
Butterfly
Frog
Trapdoor Spider
What Is The Only NASA Asset Named After A Living Person?

Answer: Trapdoor Spider

If¬†Angelina Jolie retired from acting right now, she could set up quite a trophy shelf showcasing her industry achievements including Oscars, Golden Globes, and a myriad of awards across smaller awards ceremonies. Among all the trophies, awards, and industry memorabilia, we’d like to think she’d find a spot for a photo of Aptostichus angelinajolieae, the trapdoor spider species named in her honor.

Why in her honor? The species was discovered in 2008 by Auburn University professor Jason Bond when he isolated it from other nearly identical trapdoor species via DNA testing and identification of the isolated ecoregion it inhabits (the spider is found only in the Santa Lucia Range west of the Salinas Valley in California). While there’s no word on whether or not Doctor Bond is a fan of Jolie’s acting career, he is a big fan of her philanthropic efforts working with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

In 2012, Doctor Bond also extended a similar honor to U2 lead singer Bono by naming a new species of trapdoor spider Bono’s Joshua Tree trapdoor spider (Aptostichus bonoi) in honor of the band’s 1987 album The Joshua Tree.

His naming process is both a nice nod to the philanthropic efforts of stars and a clever way to draw attention to the spiders he studies. After all, how many people would know there was a species of endangered trapdoor spiders in California named after Bono if not for news reports on the matter at the time of the naming?

Image courtesy of Jason E. Bond.